EX-WALES International and Newport County footballer Mark Aizlewood has been disqualified as a company director for six years following a probe by the Insolvency Service.

The case which showed “failures” and “behaviour that falls far below that expected of responsible directors of a limited company”, saw Aizlewood, along with ex-Manchester City player Paul Sugrue being disqualified for failing to comply with requirements relating to the funding of sports apprenticeships, within their training company, Luis Michael Training Limited (LMT).

Mark Aizlewood played for Newport County, Luton Town, Charlton Athletic, Leeds United, Bradford City, Bristol City and Cardiff City.

The disqualifications follow an investigation by the Insolvency Service. Two co-directors Keith Williams and Christopher Martin have also been disqualified for six-and-a-half and eight years respectively.

LMT provided training, assessment and quality assurance of sport qualifications on behalf of colleges throughout England. The Skills Funding Agency (formerly the Learning and Skills Council) funded the training by paying colleges which, in turn made payments to LMT.

The investigation found that in late 2010, one of the colleges cancelled its contract with LMT citing anomalies with funding. An audit by the college’s external auditors identified ineligible claims made by LMT.

This audit found that LMT had failed to ensure that all learners were in employment: submitted ineligible claims for a variety of reasons, including; Welsh learners, who have their own funding body and who did not participate in or had withdrawn from the programme.

In light of these problems, the Skills Funding Agency required the college to repay funding and the college subsequently sought to reclaim the funds paid to LMT. As LMT was not able to repay the amount, a winding up petition for £2,573,994 was presented by the college and the company was wound up by the court on 26 September 2011.

Commenting on the case, Ken Beasley, Official Receiver of Public Interest Unit (Manchester), of the Insolvency Service, said: “This company received millions of pounds in government funding but failed to provide sufficient evidence to support claims for funding or to demonstrate that the company had complied with funding guidance which was readily available to them.

“The various failures of the four directors constitute behaviour that falls far below that expected of responsible directors of a limited company.