Louis Charles Edwards (15 June 1914 – 25 February 1980) from Salford, Lancashire, was an English businessman who is most notable for being chairman of Manchester United from 1965 until his death in 1980.
Edwards made his fortune in meat packaging, and from the late 1950s was an investor in Manchester United. He became club chairman in 1965, overseeing United's success in winning the Football League First Division and the European Cup, and by the 1970s was the majority shareholder.
Edwards died of a heart attack in February 1980, four weeks after a World in Action TV investigation into his alleged involvement in illegal share trading and slush funds, which was broadcast on 28 January. His son Martin succeeded him as chairman.
Meat contracts corruption and malpractice
Edwards' meat packaging business was a financially successful enterprise in the 1970s, but an investigation by the Granada Television/ITV investigative journalism series World in Action, broadcast on the ITV network in January 1980, alleged that such dominance had in fact been achieved through bribing school officials in order to win lucrative contracts in cities such as Manchester.
The Granada investigation also claimed that his company supplied condemned meat that was unfit for human consumption to be used in school dinners.
Youth team corruption
The investigation also exposed how Manchester United had a secret fund for bribing parents of young players the club wished to recruit. In one case in the early 1960s it was alleged that a bribe of £5,000 was paid to the parents of Peter Lorimer, a promising young player whom the club had wanted to recruit. The bung was in fact later returned when the player chose Leeds United instead though this was a clear breach of football association rules. Investigations by the police into Edwards' dealings were never fully completed due to his death soon after the inquiries began. The FA decided against a formal investigation and merely discussed the issue instead.
- David Lacey (16 September 2006). "Bungs probe unlikely to bring reform". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 22 May 2007.
- Bandini, Paolo (1 May 2007). "Character no concern in the pursuit of glory". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 11 May 2010.
- 22 Feb 2008
- Edgar, Bill (9 October 2007). "The top 50 Manchester United moments". The Times (London). Retrieved 11 May 2010.
|Manchester United F.C. chairman