Ali Syed forced to close firm

Syed was ordered to fold his Bahrain based firm Western Gulf
Advisory, BBC’s Radio 5 Live Investigates claimed. The Bahraini
authorities made the demand to cease trading two weeks ago for
“violating the laws and regulations of Bahrain.” Mr Syed, an Indian
national based in Bahrain, says his proposed purchase of Blackburn
will be made as a personal investment and through his Swiss company
Western Gulf Advisory AG. However, the revelations about his
Bahrain investment company will raise questions about his
suitability as a club owner. Following an investigation by the
Central Bank of Bahrain, officials from the Ministry of Industry
and Commerce visited Western Gulf Advisory’s luxury offices and
ordered that the company stop trading immediately, 5 live
Investigates learnt. Company representatives asked for a brief
period to continue operating while tending to their legal situation
but were told they would be granted “not a minute more.” Notices
were posted by the ministry on the company’s premises to inform
visitors that Western Gulf Advisory had been closed down. News of
the closure was initially kept quiet. 5 live Investigates presenter
Adrian Goldberg said: “We have been told by a source inside the
Bahraini government that action was taken against Mr Syed because
the authorities suspect that his company has been acting on behalf
of a hidden investor. “Western Gulf Advisory’s registration
documents state that it was only authorised to invest on its own
behalf.” Mr Syed, who is currently carrying out due diligence work
on Blackburn said recently that he hoped to complete the purchase
of the club by the end of September. Commenting to Radio 5 live his
spokesperson said: “We are purchasing all our investments, e.g.
J&M McCabe in Ireland or Landmark in Australia, through our
Swiss entity (Western Gulf Advisory AG) and other European
entities. “This also holds for a takeover of Blackburn Rovers which
will be acquired by Mr Ahsan Ali Syed personally as well as by his
Swiss entity. “Furthermore, we are currently setting up another
European entity called WGA Sports for our sporting activities. “Let
me emphasise again that Bahrain is a separate entity that has got
nothing to do with our investment activities at all. In fact this
entity has got a very limited scope of activities. With regard to
the purchase of Blackburn Rovers our European investment team is
handling the negotiations with the advisors of the Jack Walker
trust which are proceeding very well. “We are about to approach the
Premier League to complete the paperwork soon.” A Barclays Premier
League spokesman said they had not received any formal notification
regarding a takeover of Blackburn, and would not conduct any
investigation into the suitability of any potential investor until
such a time.