The Khoslas & Kingstonian: Out Of Administration And Into The Fire

Until two days ago, I was viewing this article as an exercise in exorcism, writing about Kingstonian’s post-administration travails and my inglorious part in them. Handily, it was also going to be an article that didn’t require much research as I was, largely, “there at the time.” But the end of Kingstonian’s first post-administration ownership regime had parallels with the desperation shown this week by Thomas O Hicks to cling onto power at, and more importantly, the chance to get his money back from Liverpool. Kingstonian were bought from administrators Begbies Traynor (though not out of administration, as we’ll see) in April 2002 by a Goan family, the Khoslas. The 125-year lease to Kingstonian’s ground, Kingsmeadow Stadium, was transferred from the old Kingstonian company to an individual Khosla family member, Anup. Anup was a young, fiercely intelligent twenty-something who played football well enough to impress at the annual Supporters Club v Ks staff game. But he was leaseholder in name only, and the chants of “Anup Khosla’s red-and-white army” at Ks first post-sale fixture were as inaccurate as they were naïve.  The real power lay with his father Rajesh, a stern-looking hard-nosed businessman. He wasn’t Chris Kelly, whose 20-year association with the Ks ended in the sort of sheepish ignominy which hopefully awaits Hicks. And “not being Chris Kelly” was a passport to instant popularity in April 2002. By...

Read More