Writer: Daniel Bailey
Date:Thursday April 2 2009
Administrators have warned that there is a real danger that there will be no Southampton FC by the end of the season, unless a buyer can be found before then.
Southampton Leisure Holdings PLC, parent company of the Championship strugglers, have been placed into administration with debts rumoured to be in the region of £30million.
Restructuring specialists Begbies Traynor have been placed in charge after chairman Rupert Lowe, club chairman Michael Wilde and director Andrew Cowen resigned.
Speaking at a St Mary's press conference, joint-administrator Mark Fry admitted that the Saints are in desperate need of new investment if the club are to survive.
"If we don't find a buyer for the club there is a very, very high probability that it will not last until the end of the season. Realistically it will mean the end of the football club," said Fry.
"It's a very different economic climate from two years ago and football clubs have fallen as hard as anything. It's a difficult task, but we will search very hard for a buyer.
"And I would say that anyone looking to buy the club will find it a lot cheaper than it would have been two years ago."
Controversial former chairman Lowe is, according to Fry, unlikely to be among any potential buyers.
"We would welcome an approach from anybody, but as far as I am informed Rupert Lowe has not shown an interest," he added.
"We are urging the fans to show up and support the team for the last three home games to help the cash-flow of the business and also demonstrate to potential investors the level of the fanbase."
By placing their parent company into administration, however, Saints appear to have at least avoided a 10-point deduction from the Football League.
The League will discuss the matter at a scheduled meeting on Tuesday, but as things stand they cannot apply the standard sanction because the club are not in administration.
"We are in dialogue with the Football League and we don't think the club should be affected," said Fry.
"We don't think the rules apply to this, but we will find out in due course."
Date:Thursday April 2 2009
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