Former Arlesey Town FC chairman Manny Cohen signs papers to formally wind up BuyAFootballer Ltd and other dormant companies

PUBLISHED: 15:29 03 November 2016 | UPDATED: 15:34 03 November 2016

Registered office: Invision House in Hitchins Wilbury Way.

Registered office: Invision House in Hitchins Wilbury Way.

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The formal process of dissolution has been started for seven companies with names such as BuyAFootballer Ltd and OwnAFootballPlayer Ltd, of which a former Arlesey Town FC chairman is a director.

Manny Cohen celebrating promotion with Arlesey Town FC in 2011. Photo: Martyn Annetts.Manny Cohen celebrating promotion with Arlesey Town FC in 2011. Photo: Martyn Annetts.

Companies House records show that businessman Manny Cohen – who chaired Arlesey Town from 2008 to 2011 and again from 2012 to 2015 – directs and part-owns the seven firms, which were set up at the premises of his RM Group in Hitchin’s Wilbury Way in March 2011.

Asked by the Comet what the registered company names BuyAFootballer Limited, OwnAFootballPlayer Limited, OwnAFootballer Limited, PlayerSyndicate Limited, FootballerSyndicate Limited, BuyAPlayer Limited and Syndicate102 Limited alluded to, lawyers for Mr Cohen declined to comment publicly.

All seven of the firms are recorded by Companies House as ‘dormant’, and Syndicate102 Ltd owns 98 per cent of the other six.

Syndicate102 Ltd is 50 per cent owned by Mr Cohen and 50 per cent owned by Lamar Valley Investments Inc – based in the Bahamas, according to papers leaked from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca & Co.

Since we contacted Mr Cohen for clarification about the seven firms on October 6, he has signed the papers for all of them to be struck off the Companies House register.

The same has been done regarding firms called LJV Sports Management Ltd and LJVSM Ltd, registered at the same Wilbury Way office at Invision House.

Those two firms were respectively formed in 2009 and 2010. A third firm, LJV Recruitment Ltd – formed as RMadillo Ltd in 1997 and renamed in 2008 – was wound up in 2014.

Since we contacted Mr Cohen, LJV Sports Management’s website and social media pages have been removed from the internet – with old revisions cached by a third-party web archive also disappearing.

Internet domain registration data from 2011 records ‘LJVSM Sports Management Ltd’ as the then-registrant for internet domain names such as buyafootballer.com, ownafootballplayer.com, footballsyndicate.com and others corresponding to the names of the seven companies formed in March that year.

LJV Sports Management billed itself online as offering ‘talented and creative management teams dedicated to the ongoing development of our clients’ careers in sport’, ‘using our vast array of connections to raise their profile, taking them on to the next stage of their professional careers’.

Clients listed on the site included British Bobsleigh – of which Mr Cohen is marketing director – the Army Winter Sports Association and Arlesey Town FC, but the website did not appear to have been updated since 2012 at the latest.

Most of the LJV website remained online until the Comet contacted Mr Cohen last month.

Companies House papers released on Tuesday indicate that the companies’ final dissolution will take place in the new year, ‘unless cause is shown to the contrary’.

Mr Cohen, who also chairs Hitchin-based corporate service provider Mossack Fonseca & Co (UK) Ltd, declined the Comet’s requests for public comment.

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