Writer: Daniel Bailey
Date:Thursday April 2 2009
The following article has been taken from www.saintsfc.co.uk
In his first interview, newly appointed Joint Administrator Mark Fry of Begbies Traynor answers the key questions about today's events.
Can you give more detail on what is happening?
On Thursday 2 April, Southampton Leisure Holdings PLC, the holding company which owns Southampton FC, was placed into Administration because it is insolvent and is no longer able to pay its debts.
Can you explain the relationship between Southampton Leisure Holdings PLC and the football team?
Southampton Leisure Holdings PLC owns 100% of the football club.
What exactly does placed into administration mean?
Administration is a process to protect the assets of the Company and the administrator is appointed to ensure the best outcome for the business and its creditors.
Why did this not happen earlier in the season?
The decision to put the business into administration was taken now because it was clear that the business was insolvent. This wasn't the case earlier in the season.
So what exactly will Begbies Traynor be doing?
The Begbies Traynor team, who have assumed control of the holding company, will be working with the directors to secure the future of the business. Our strategy will be to find a buyer for the Company.
What is the status of Southampton Football Club Limited?
The club continues to trade under the control of its directors.
Can you give a bit more background on Begbies Traynor? What is their experience with football clubs?
Begbies Traynor is the UK's leading business recovery and restructuring specialist and has worked with several football clubs in the past including Bournemouth FC most recently.
How long will this process take?
We have to find a buyer before the end of the season because there is not sufficient cash in the football club to support its ongoing trading beyond that time.
What happens if you are unable to re-finance or find a buyer for the club?
If the administrator is unsuccesful it is likely that the football club will enter an insolvency process which is likely to effectively mean that the club will cease to operate. Clearly this is an outcome that all parties will want to avoid.
Has anyone shown interest in the club yet?
We have only just been appointed so it is too early to comment. Rest assured that we will be working tirelessly to find a buyer.
What do you think the chances for success are?
As fans know, Southampton is an excellent club with a great stadium, and a promising youth academy. We will be working tirelessly to find a solution and believe that with support from the fans that a succesful outcome is possible. Fans should be aware however there that we live in very difficult economic times and there is no guarantee of success.
What has happened to the Board?
Aside from David Jones, the finance director, the rest of the Board has resigned.
How will the business be managed following the Board's resignation?
The administrator will run the business of the PLC and the Board of the football club will run the football club. It will be necessary that all companies within the group to work together to achieve a successful outcome.
What sanctions is the FA imposing on the club now that the holding company has gone into administration?
The matter is being addressed with the Football League but it is too early to say what the outcome will be. The key issue is to ensure that the club survives and this is one aspect of that process.
What will happen to season ticket sales?
Season tickets will only go on sale when the future of the club is guaranteed.
Are you worried that this will affect the team?
We understand that there will be uncertainty but we are going to do everything possible to ensure that the manager and the squad can concentrate solely on performance on the field and ensuring the club's Championship status.
What can I do to help?
Fans are urged to turn up and support the team for the last three home games, as not only will this help the short term cash flow of the business, but it will demonstrate to any potential investor the passion, level of support and the importance of the team as an asset to the community.
Date:Thursday April 2 2009
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