Writer: Aaron Hughes
Date:Sunday December 16 2007
Many football fans are wondering, What exactly is going on at Swindon Town Football Club, well Vital Swindon Town attempts to explain.
Swindon Town have been in administration twice in the early 90`s to restructure debts that were crippling the club. The club were 45 minutes from going bust and Swindon Borough Council were set to lock up the gates of the County Ground for good.
As part of the deal to come out of administration the club had to make yearly CVA Payments of £100,000 with a final bullet payment of £900,000 to be paid in June 2007.
Town fans had fears on whether the club could meet the deadline for the £900,000 and formed a new consortium with Bill Power and Phil Emmell who had the funds to clear the outstanding debts hanging over the club.
Depending on who you believe, the club say they never received an offer from the fans constortium, whilst the fans consortium many times stated through the media that an offer had been made and they were ready to pay what the club was worth plus £1 million.
June 2007 came and went and no payment was made by Swindon Town F.C. The news was not all bleak though as Town had started negotiations with BEST Holdings who were looking to take over majority shareholding of the club.
In October the BEST holdings deal fell through and it was revealed by Cheltenham Town that Swindon Town owed Cheltenham £25,000 in ticket sales from earlier in the season. It is rumoured that no club at this time had received their ticket money. Immediately after the BEST holdings failure a consortium headed up by Wiltshire businessman Andrew Fitton started negotiations to buy the club. Fitton had to pay Revenue and Customs a six figure sum to ensure the club was not wound up.
Town fans began to show their frustrations chanting "sack the board", "where has our money gone" as the future of the club was hanging by a thread.
In late October then manager Paul Sturrock revealed that the club were under a transfer embargo for failing to pay footballing debts. The embargo is still hanging over the club now, however Bob Holt had come out and stated the club would sort it out by the end of the week. It did not happen and even a meeting with the Football League resulted in the club still having to have the transfer embargo levied on them. Sturrock was unable to bolster his injury ridden squad and a poor form of results followed and continues to do so to this day.
Takeover talks between Fitton and the club were taking forever with several amendments being put in by the club which resulted in Fitton withdrawing his offer for the club. Director Bob Holt admitted that time was running out for the club and that unless money was found soon they would face liquidation.
Administration a third time was not an option , with creditors and the tax man losing patience, unless a deal is sealed soon there is a very real possibility that the club will go into bankruptcy and become the first club since Aldershot F.C to fold during the season.
Even if the club go into liquidation and someone picks up the pieces it is believed that Swindon Town would be expelled from the Football League and lose their golden share.
Town were locked in talks last night with Andrew Fitton who indicated vaguely that a deal has been struck and that only the wording of the contract remained.
We cross everything and hope that come Monday, Andrew Fitton is the new chairman of Swindon Town F.C.
Fitton`s consortium is worth hundreds of millions of pounds, and would finally put is back on a secure financial footing.
Date:Sunday December 16 2007
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