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Creditors fury at Town payout

PUBLISHED: 19:00 16 April 2003 | UPDATED: 13:45 03 March 2010

FURIOUS Ipswich Town creditors have today spoken of their shock at hearing they'll only get 5p for every pound owed by the beleaguered club.

One said it is "a sort of blackmail situation" where they are offered 5p or nothing while another businessman, who asked not to be named, said he did not know if his company could survive as a result.

FURIOUS Ipswich Town creditors have today spoken of their shock at hearing they'll only get 5p for every pound owed by the beleaguered club.

One said it is "a sort of blackmail situation" where they are offered 5p or nothing while another businessman, who asked not to be named, said he did not know if his company could survive as a result.

"I'm owed about £14,000 by the club and a small company like mine can't afford that kind of loss," the businessman told The Evening Star.

Another creditor, John Arnott – owner of Hansa Hire – said he knows Ipswich Town is not unique in this "blackmail-type situation" and said creditors were really being given no choice.

"I am really lost for words, it just seems creditors who have the larger amounts owed to them will have things weighted in their favour at the creditors' meeting.

"Hansa Hire is owed a few thousand pounds, not much in the grand scale of Town's debt, or indeed what is owed to other creditors, but a lot for me.

"We will have to weather the storm and have what we can get," Mr Arnott said.

Hansa Hire is still working for Ipswich Town but paid on a regular basis after authorisation by the administrators.

"I suppose I really feel impotent, helpless to do anything other than have what we can get," he added.

Another businessman asked the Star not to name him because he is anxious that other clients and his own creditors should not know the extent of his exposure to Ipswich Town debts.

"I've still got to pay the VAT and income tax – I've managed to delay the VAT for a few months, but I can't put it off for ever.

"I need that money, but I'm not going to see any more of it – I feel I've been kicked in the teeth over this."

And he feels angry the club continued to employ him although they already had financial difficulties.

"I did a lot of work with them over the Christmas period, for which I have not been paid.

"Then they said they wouldn't need to use us for a time – but then I got a call asking me to help them out at the Sheffield United game.

"I dropped everything to step in, then two days later they were at the High Court and went into administration," he said.

The Star asked Deloitte & Touche what date they had been approached by ITFC, and a spokeswoman said: "The administrators were involved ten days prior to asking the court for the Administration order which was made on February 10 at the High Court.

"This is quite typical for companies who, although may be in financial difficulties, will be needing to continue running their business.

"We do know that Ipswich Town had been trying to sell players during January and had done what they could to try and save some money throughout the period," she added.

But the creditor said: "I think the club has acted very badly towards all the small companies in the community who they employ."

The businessman accepted that he had shared in the club's success in the Premiership.

"Yes, we did get more business from them and it enabled me to buy more equipment – but we hadn't expected to be treated like this in the end.

"I was able to buy a car – that's going to have to go now to pay the business debts, will someone at the club want to buy it?" he asked.

Since the administrators came to the club, he has continued to do work at Portman Road – but ensures that his payment is guaranteed.

"I need to continue to work here and try to work through this – but the club has done me and other creditors no favours at all."

And his plight will have a knock-on effect for the football club he loves.

"I'm a real Town fan. I have been since I saw my first match in 1965 and I've had a season ticket since 1974," he said.

"At the moment we've got three season tickets – but we won't have any next season. We can't afford them any more.

"That money will have to be ploughed back into the business to try to keep it afloat – I still have to pay my staff."

Ipswich Town chairman David Sheepshanks said the club only took the decision to go into administration after the transfer window closed at the end of January.

"As soon as it became apparent at the end of January that the required player sales had not been made, the directors sought professional advice and acted in good faith by placing the Company into administration as soon as was possible. Deloitte & Touche were appointed as administrators on February 10."

Although the offer of 5pc to creditors is being offered now, The Evening Star understands that there is a section written in to the CVA by the administrators that should Town be promoted, unsecured creditors could get this increased to 20pc over a period of time.


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