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.