New Floriana patron failed English FA’s ‘fit and proper’ test

Boxing promoter puts financial troubles behind him to take helm at Floriana FC.

Former Chester City owner Stephen Vaughan.
Former Chester City owner Stephen Vaughan.

Floriana FC's new club patron comes with the promise to take the Greens out of their financial straits, but English boxing promoter Stephen Vaughan, 50, comes with quite some baggage to the Xaghra field.

The former football club owner has faced various fraud charges in British courts as well as becoming the first owner of a professional football club required to reduce his shareholding because, according to the English FA rules, he was no longer a "fit and proper person".

Floriana's new president Justin Attard, of Attard & Harding boxing promotions, announced a new deal with Vaughan today, details of which are to be revealed on Friday 17 August. But according to his latest Wikipedia entry, Vaughan's son Stephen is touted as Floriana's new chairman.

Stephen Vaughan (third from left) shakes hands with Justin Attard. Vaughan jnr. is second from left.

Vaughan, a Liverpool businessman who acquired the Conference league club Chester City in 2001, was disqualified in 2009 from acting as a director of any company until November 2020, following his involvement in a £500,000 VAT fraud while a director of Widnes Vikings rugby league club, which was then in administration.

The charges stated that he "caused" Widnes to buy clothes from a UK company in three transactions worth £2.9 million, plus VAT of £505,265. Payment for the clothes were made to an account at the First Curaçao International Bank, based in the Netherlands Antilles. The clothes were sold on the same day to a company based in Spain; overseas buyers do not have to pay VAT, and Vaughan tried to reclaim the £505,265 for the club from HM Revenue and Customs.

Proceedings were begun against Vaughan which led to him admitting the transactions were a "carousel" in which the VAT was fraudulently claimed from HMRC.

In 2008 Vaughan was cleared of five charges of having fraudulently obtained finance deals to buy two new cars and then insuring those cars under false pretences.

He quit as Chester City chairman in December 2008 but remained the owner, before selling off his stake. He previously owned Barrow FC but left in 1997 before returning for a short second spell in 1998. Vaughan was also chairman of Widnes Vikings Rugby League club.

Mark Wright

New Floriana coach Mark Wright was until recently listed as chairman of Widnes FC.

In March 2011, the Liverpool Echo reported that Vaughan and his son were sentenced for having attacked a police officer in a drunken rage. Vaughan was jailed at North Liverpool Community Justice Centre after assaulting a police constable. Vaughan's barrister Anthony Barraclough blamed the drink-fuelled "outburst" on the pressures Vaughan faced as the club's owner and pleaded for a suspended sentence.

He said Vaughan had been under "tremendous stress" because of his business activities but that his problems had since been settled favourably and he was now carving out a career as a boxing promoter.

But in sentencing Vaughan to 15 months in prison Judge David Fletcher CBE said it had been a "nasty" and "cowardly" attack carried out against a lone officer doing his job.

He said: "It was extremely unattractive. It involved a police officer doing his job checking something out, driving in a marked police vehicle, in uniform, making a perfectly legitimate inquiry."

Vaughan was released from prison in September 2011.

According to their website, the newly created football club Widnes Town FC, an offshoot of the Rugby League club, has current Floriana FC coach (and former Liverpool and England squad player, as well as former Chester manager) Mark Wright as its chairman; while Stephan Vaughan junior is club manager in a bizarre role-reversal for the two figures.

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Sorry to hear about your current difficulties - it all sounds so familiar. However, you can't say you didn't have any prior warning. Best suggestion would be to get rid of the Vaughans ASAP.
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Serious claims!!! Is the Maltafootball Association conducting the necessary due diligence controls to ensure that these new investors will not come and ruin our football ( at least the little we have) How are we vetting the new investors. Very strange this year lots of new investors in the Malta Football scene!!!! What is the purpose of these investors coming over to Malta? Is it really football?
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You think Vaughan has list of shortcomings! Someone should delve into Mr Attard's shady background and dig up his accumulating luggage of debts to companies around the island, not to mention associating himself with dodgy and shady characters...Watchout!
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Not mentioned in the report is the fact that Vaughan Snr deliberately and cynically ran Chester City FC into the ground.He has history of wrecking every sports club he has been involved with - Barrow FC, Widnes Vikings and Chester City. He is a self-confessed fraudster, ex-convict and habitual liar. But worse than all this he has many friends within the criminal classes - even holding a minutes silence for a murdered ganster. He should not be anywhere near a decent sports club - you have been warned!
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Not mentioned in the report is the fact that Vaughan Snr deliberately and cynically ran Chester City FC into the ground.He has history of wrecking every sports club he has been involved with - Barrow FC, Widnes Vikings and Chester City. He is a self-confessed fraudster, ex-convict and habitual liar. But worse than all this he has many friends within the criminal classes - even holding a minutes silence for a murdered ganster. He should not be anywhere near a decent sports club - you have been warned!
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15 months in prison for an attack carried out against a lone officer doing his job. If only that was done here as well

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