Ex-Villa and Man City player Gareth Barry ‘broke strict FA rules’ to invest in Swindon Town, a court has heard this week.
He pumped a total of £800,000 into the League Two high flyers, but now has been dragged into a legal dispute.
The astonishing claims dates back to 2013 and was revealed to be part of a judgement that was handed down earlier this month by Mr Michael Green QC at the Royal Courts of Justice.
Barry’s agent, Michael Standing, took Swindon chairman Lee Power to court by filing an injunction that claimed he had invested in £800,000 in the club in March 2013.
But Power insists that it was Barry who actually put the money in.
Michael Green said in his judgment, which was in favour of Standing: “Mr Power does not deny there was another person involved in the acquisition but extraordinarily he says it was not Mr Standing but Mr Standing’s very good friend, the well-known England international footballer, Mr Gareth Barry.”
The Judge revealed Power claimed Barry made an oral agreement to invest in Swindon during a meeting at the midfielder’s house in March 2013.
Power insisted Barry didn’t buy shares in the club but instead the cash injection gave him the rights to 50% of any future Swindon profits, including from transfers.
The judge said the deal needed to be a secret as it was against FA rules for Barry, as a player, or Standing, as an agent, to invest in a football club.
He added that Barry strongly denied investing directly in Swindon but admitted lending his “good friend” Standing the money so he could.
Gareth Barry ‘broke strict FA rules’ to invest £800,000 in Swindon when he was playing for Man City https://t.co/z4E7AuSk3y
— MailOnline Sport (@MailSport) May 21, 2020
The judge wrote: “Mr Barry says categorically he was not the investor and did not agree anything with Mr Power.”
It is understood Standing took his legal action to ensure he benefits from a possible imminent sale of Swindon.
The court heard the League Two club were now valued at £7.5million.
Fans took to social media after finding out that the ex-Villa and Man City player ‘broke strict FA rules’ to invest in Swindon…
Not only had Gareth Barry stole a taxi, he’s gone and stole the dreams of all #stfc fans
— Rhys Parsons (@1rhysparsons) May 19, 2020
swindon town in the mud and claiming to have sold half of their club to gareth barry i’m hearing? pic.twitter.com/g9cV2N9olL
— mil (@milpvfc_) May 19, 2020
— Will Sugg (@SuggWillSugg) May 19, 2020
So Gareth Barry apparently owns 50% of Swindon Town FC and now the owner has 2 legal battles against him from people who think they own part of the club? My head hurts. I know good times at #stfc don’t last long, but this is a surely new record.
— Martin Peters (@martin_ffaf) May 19, 2020
Saw Gareth Barry was trending and thought he’d nicked another taxi or done a Grealish, turns out he owns half of Swindon and I’m not sure if that’s better or worse
— Josh Ainge (@AingeJosh) May 20, 2020
I had a really weird dream last night that Gareth Barry possibly owned Swindon’s, the chairman has taken a load of money and it’s gone missing and he was trying to sell to an American company that were a load of rubbish a few months ago. #stfc
— CH (@Ciaran_Hart1) May 20, 2020
Gareth Barry on his way to Swindon pic.twitter.com/3YfEcVV8zH
— Andy Davies (@_AndyDavies) May 20, 2020
Me: I’ll have a quick browse of Twitter before I go to sleep
Twitter: Gareth Barry owns 50% of #STFC, Able Company want to buy the club for £7m and Power keeps contradicting himself
— James (@j_walsh86) May 20, 2020
— James Audley (@JAudley89) May 19, 2020
Gareth Barry apparently owns 50% of Swindon
— Will (@WillNSNO) May 19, 2020
So, Gareth Barry owns 50% of Swindon Town…. Obviously Gareth Barry has never had a financial advisor 🤣
— PUBLUNCH (@PUBLUNCH1) May 19, 2020
Like what the Fan Banter have on offer? Sign up for more League Two notifications!
2010: The bobble
2020: Something about Gareth Barry? pic.twitter.com/dEkFPOPSXe
— The Loathed Strangers Podcast* (@LoathedStranger) May 19, 2020