Shareholder Influence


First published September 2015

Minority shareholders do have real influence

I’ve been asked my opinion many times over the last year or two on the real influence a small shareholding in Leeds United Football Club could achieve.

My answer has always included a reference to the legal rights minority shareholders have and how a majority shareholder cannot ride rough-shod over them. This basically means that a majority shareholder cannot benefit through his shareholding in a way that does not similarly benefit a minority shareholder especially if it actually places the minority shareholder at a disadvantage.

This is often called “unfair prejudice” and Valeri Belokon, a minority shareholder at Blackpool FC with only 20% of the shares, is taking the club’s majority shareholders to court claiming the major owners have exercised “unfair prejudice”.

The full article from the BBC can be read here Obviously this is only one way that a minority shareholder can influence a club but is a real-life example of the power a small fan ownership could have in Leeds United.

Hopefully Leeds Fans will work amicably with majority owners but if that fails we would have real, legal power to effect change.


Mike Thornton