HOW VINCENT MCBEAN TOOK CONTROL OF CLAPTON FC
A meeting, referred to as an AGM, took place at Clapton Football Club on 11th November 1999. Present were Ken Harris (CFC Chairman), Iain Hollowell (CFC Asst Sec) and Shaun O’Malley (CFC Financial Controller), Also present were Vincent McBean and Abdul Bhatti who is believed to be, or to have been, an accountant or related to an accountant, Mohammed Akbar Bhatti, who actively assisted Mr McBean in his business ventures.. Abdul Bhatti was later disqualified from acting as a Trustee by the Charity Commission for his role in McBean’s ‘charitable venture’ - Knights Millennium Foyer Limited.
At this time it is believed that Mr McBean was also Chairman of Woodford Town FC. He was also, apparently, already involved with Clapton at this time.
Mr McBean is referred to, in the minutes as representing Knights Securities plc (KS plc). Ken Harris mistakenly believed that Mr McBean was a director of the KS plc and that it was his company.
According to Companies House, Mr McBean was a Director of KSplc until a month before the meeting although he had back dated his ‘resignation’ to 1997. He replaced himself with Beverley Lindo and Georgine Nwabuzo, both of whom were his former partners. (Ms Lindo and Nwabuzo were also to be later disqualified as Trustees by the Charities Commission in 2005 as a result of the Knights Millennium Foyer matter)
Mr McBean had certainly given the impression to Ken Harris that he was wealthy and on the board of a public limited company which would lift Clapton out of the financial trouble.
A Memo of Understanding was agreed and signed by those present which purports to effectively hand over control of the Clapton FC to Knights Securities plc and, in return for that, the company were to pay off the club’s liabilities of members of Clapton FC.
The amounts owed to each member of Clapton FC are listed on the Memo of Understanding and, in addition, McBean gave Harris a cheque, apparently drawn on Knights Securities account for the amount he had apparently been owed by the club.
Mike Fogg did not sign the memo, nor was there a proxy for Harris to sign on his behalf. Mike Fogg was also unaware of the proposed transfer to Knights Securities plc.
The proposed set up was to be that Knights Securities plc will be the controlling body and a management committee will be formed, known as Clapton Members Club 2000. There is no mention of the dissolution of Clapton FC. There is no mention of the Clapton FC being dormant.
Furthermore, the memo of understanding refers to a contract to be prepared. However, the contractual document is never finalised or signed.
Nonetheless, Clapton Members Club is eventually set up on 5th August 2000. The original subscribers are all people previously involved with Mr McBean in his earlier business activities and/or were ‘shareholders/directors’ of Knights Securities plc.
Beverly Lindo - Kazz Harris - Joseph Willis - Georgina Nwabuzo
The memo of Understanding from which Knights Securities purport to take control of the club refers to a management committee being formed from present and new members of Clapton Football Club. The new committee of Clapton Members Club 2000 (see below) do not include anyone previously connected with Clapton FC, save for Mr McBean, if indeed, he was ever a member of the club. None of the life members of Clapton FC are included.
In effect, it was a takeover, and unbeknown to Harris and the others at the meeting, the Memo of Understanding that was signed, will not be honoured by Knights Securities plc. Notwithstanding it being a dubious contract to say the least, neither Harris, O’Malley nor Fogg were paid by Knights Securities plc.
Knights Securities plc
This company was formed in 1996 by Joseph Willis, Vincent McBean, and his accountant, Mohammed Aktar Bhatti. Mr Bhatti and Mr Willis remained as directors for the company until it was struck off by the Registrar of Companies having never, throughout its existence lodged accounts in 2001.
Mr McBean resigned from the company in 1997, after two new directors were installed Beverley Lindo and Georgina Nwabuzo. Knight Securities plc had been in discussion with the London Borough of Redbridge concerning the tenure of, the now-defunct, Woodford Town’s Snakes Lane ground whilst Mr McBean was Chairman of the club.
By 1997, the company apparently had a shareholding of 50,000 shares at £1 each. There is no indication as to how much of this share holding is paid up.
Each of the following shareholders held 10,000 shares:
1. Mr Kazz Harris Ms Beverley Lindo Ms Georgina Nwabuzo Ms Danick Porter Ms Mille David
In June 1996, Mr McBean, as a director of the company, declared that the Company had at least £12,500 of the share capital paid up as he made a declaration to that effect and successfully obtained a certificate for public limited company to ‘do business and borrow’ from Companies House.
Shareholders 1-3 are well known in the Clapton FC scenario. The address of the company, at 205 Shooters Hill Road, is also a frequently used address by Mr McBean’s co-directors and associates.
Kazz Harris (not Ken Harris) was another individual
disqualified by the Charity Commission to act as a Trustee
following their investigation into Knights Millennium Foyer
Ltd, a company run by Mr McBean before his timely
resignation, just prior to the Charity Commission
investigation. See CC report at
Kazz Harris, despite his apparent disqualification, remained a member and Trustee of Newham Community Leisure Limited until 2015, which holds the lease on the Old Spotted Dog Ground. Mr McBean is also a trustee. This company have been under investigation by the Charity Commission since December 2013.
· Ms Lindo is a former partner of Mr McBean and was also a Trustee at Knights Millennium Foyer Ltd and, like Kazz Harris, was disqualified as a result of the aforementioned report.
Ms Nwabuzo is also a former partner of Mr McBean and was also a Trustee at Knights Millennium Foyer Ltd and, like Kazz Harris and Ms Lindo, was disqualified as a result of the aforementioned report.
Shareholders 4-5 are previously unknown.
Millie David runs Lionmark Construction, a company based in
Knights Securities plc was struck off the Register of Companies in 2001 having not filed active accounts since its incorporation. The Company was certainly active both before and after Mr McBean's purported resignation. Is it is the case that, if shares are issued, and a public limited company goes bust, are the shareholders are held to be responsible for paying up their shares? The company must have had some money in the account in 1999 in order to give the cheque to Ken Harris and, of course, Mr McBean has deposed that the company had a paid up share allocation which permitted the company to borrow and invest.
However, before it being struck off, Knights Securities plc executed one final contract, this time with Mr Vincent McBean, its former director.
Having ‘bought’ the club in November 1999 for £63,200, Knights Securities plc ‘sold Clapton FC and it’s assets to Vincent McBean for £3,000. The signatory on behalf of Knights Securities plc was Beverley Lindo. It is on this basis that Mr McBean considers that he ‘owns’ Clapton FC.
In August 2000, Mr McBean formed Clapton Members Club. The signatories to the initial memorandum of this club are, again, a who’s who of Mr McBean’s family / ex-partners and business associates. Kazz Harris and Beveley Lindo are re-joined by:
· Mr Stephen Sam, a struck off solicitor who was also disqualified following the Knight Millennium Charity report
· Shirley Doyle, an ex-partner of Mr McBean and who remains as Secretary of McBean’s Clapton FC.
· Mr Rashford Angus, a director, along with Mr McBean, of Knights Corporation Limited, the recipient company of the £9k a week paid out by the charity Knights Millennium Foyer Limited (see report)
According to the London FA, Clapton Members Club are not a football club, however, Mr McBean maintains that Clapton Members Club and Clapton FC are one and the same.
The existence of these documents was unknown to supporters of the club until 2013. Since then enquires have been made of the club chairman as to join Mr McBean’s ‘Clapton FC’. The response was that the club was restructuring.
This remains the case. There is no membership or committee and Mr McBean takes all decisions on behalf of the club on a unilateral basis. Mr McBean does not recognise any of the three life members of Clapton FC.
It has also been discovered that Mr McBean has attempted to buy the freehold of the ground. He may well have had the funds and income at this time (see Knights Millennium Foyer report which says that he took £9,000 a week from the Charity). We also know that he subsequently tried to sell it to a third party whilst the company who owned the lease on the ground, of which he is a trustee, was struck off at Companies House and considered by the Charity Commission to be no longer in operation. This prompted him to open a clone company in the same name (but with a different company number). Eventually, he managed to revive the original company through the High Court but, obviously smelling a rat, the prospective purchasers decided to give it a miss.
In June 2014, the three life members of Clapton FC mandated a supporters group, the Friends of Clapton FC to re-establish Clapton FC as a members club. This group now claims to be the real Clapton FC and not Clapton Members Club/Club McBean.
Both the FA and London FA, despite being in possession of the relevant documents referred to above, have taken no action or made any enquiries as to determining who is Clapton FC.
Equally and just as importantly, please spread the word and don’t just stand by, as have those with supposed governance of our game.
Documents referred to :-