ALMOST £6million has been spent investigating and prosecuting Barnsley Football Club's owner Patrick Cryne and three former bosses of the software firm iSoft, it has emerged.

A Freedom of Information request revealed the huge bill was run up by regulator the Financial Conduct Authority and its predecessor, the Financial Services Authority.

It shows between August 2006 and January 2010 the FCA spent £2,118,466. At prosecution stage, from January 2010 to present, another £3,692,298 was spent.

The FOI was submitted by Manchester law firm Pannone, which represented former iSoft finance director John Whelan, who along with ex-colleagues Tim Whiston and Steve Graham, was cleared after a second trial collapsed.

The trio, and former iSoft executive, Patrick Cryne, 62, who was deemed too ill to appear at the trial, were accused of plotting to create 'huge discrepancies' in the healthcare software suppliers accounts between October 2003 and July 2006.

The case against them was thrown out after a re-trial at Southwark Crown Court last month and a decision not to go for another re-trial has been made.