BusinessBusiness RecoveryStockport County FC getting closer to sale goal

Stockport County FC getting closer to sale goal

Administrators of troubled football club have not claimed any fees so far and confirm they are in fresh talks with a prospective buyer

Administrators from Leonartd Curtis have confirmed they are in talks with a
potential buyer for Stockport County Football Club, the 126-year old side which
entered administration earlier this year.

John Titley and Paul Reeves, directors at Leonard Curtis, were named as joint
administrators of Stockport County Association Football Club Limited on 30 April
2009, but have not claimed any fees so they could keep paying out players’
wages.

“Despite incurring substantial time costs to keep the club operating and to
secure a purchaser the administration team have not received a fee to date
because any fee depends on the outcome of the sale process,” the insolvency
experts said in a statement today.

“We have not used available funds to cover our fees so that essential trading
costs – mainly salaries – can continue to be paid,”

“Further to our previous statement on 12 November, we can confirm that talks
regarding the possible sale of the Club and its exit from Administration are
proceeding with a potential purchaser.

Despite the club being marketed extensively for sale, the number of
interested parties has been disappointing, the adminstrators said.

“We have entered into protracted negotiations with many parties which have
largely proved to be unable or unwilling to proceed.

“Our priority is and always has been to establish which parties are credible
and which are timewasters so we can achieve a sale of the Club as quickly as
possible.”

The administrators had reached a conditional agreement with a consortium in
the summer but several key issues prevented a speedy sale.

These issues involved funding to comply with The Football League’s minimum
requirement; complying with the landlord’s expectations of a credible tenant;
and primacy of fixtures by balancing the demands of The Football League with
those of Premier Rugby.

“We continue to try and balance the interests of many parties including the
landlord of [club ground] Edgeley Park and The Football League but this is
proving to be very difficult,” the administrators said.

“A modest payment is being sought to allow repayment of monies owed to
secured creditors and the completion of a Company Voluntary Agreement which is a
requirement of the Football League.”

The prospective purchaser has not yet satisfied the requirements of the
landlord and The Football League, Titley and Reeves said but they understand the
purchaser had a credible business plan in place.

“The financial position of the club remains tight and the decision of The
Football League to retain media income due to the club has made matters more
difficult,” the administrators said.

“We have however, introduced robust systems for cost control to ensure that
finance is available to cover trading costs and in particular, the salaries of
players and staff. We have had to sell some players and it may be necessary to
release others,” the administrators added.

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