Tottenham’s former kit sponsor faces corruption charges

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Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

According to a report in the Guardian, Tottenham’s former kit sponsor, British software company Autonomy is in deep water as they are facing charges of allegedly fudging their revenue.

Autonomy was acquired by US firm Hewlett-Packard for £8bn in 2011. However, HP is now suing former Autonomy founder Mike Lynch and former chief financial officer Sushovan Hussain, accusing them of a $5bn (£3.8bn) fraud ahead of the takeover.

HP alleges that Autonomy mischaracterised revenues from clients, and deliberately inflated the company’s value by bringing forward revenue and by false accounting. Among the clients from whom revenue was mischaracterised were Tottenham Hotspur as well as the BBC.

Laurence Rabinowitz QC, who is representing the claimants, told the court that the Autonomy figures included wrongly classified revenues from organisations who did not intend to sell on products that included Autonomy technology, including Tottenham whose shirts Autonomy and HP sponsored.

Autonomy who sold software to Spurs for internal usage allegedly included a clause allowing the club to assign or share licence rights in the purchase order even though the firm knew that Spurs were not going to become a software licensor.

The claimants further allege that Autonomy backdated a £3.9m-plus-VAT fee for providing Tottenham with software licences to June 2010, and that Spurs had “had no comprehension as to what they had purchased”, with an agenda for a meeting in July 2010 between Autonomy and the club including “a look at/understanding of what we have purchased”

Lynch and Hussain have denied all of the allegations made by the claimants.

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