Fans Meeting with Administrators - 20th March 2010
Last Saturday before the Hull game a group of fans representatives including myself were invited to meet UHY Hacker Young's staff in the Fratton Park boardroom for the second meeting held with the administrators.
Minutes of meeting between Pompey fans and Representatives of UHY Hacker Young (Administrators of Portsmouth Football Club)
Pompey Fans Meeting with Administrators - 20th March 2010
Present: Alan Taylor (SAP), Dave Taylor (Vital Pompey), Bill Gillon (PompeyOnline), Mike Hall (Pompey-Fans Online), Pam Wilkins (FSF), Colin Farmery(PVA), Reece Percival (Pompey Anoraks), Barry Dewing (PISA), Jo Collins(PST), Mick Bleach (Chichester Supporters Club), Les Stafford (South Wales Supporters Club), Nigel Tressider (Portsmouth Supporters Club and Brendon Bone (SOS Pompey)
Michael Kiely(Joint Administrator), Terri Mulgrew (Senior Insolvency Administrator and Johnny Moore (PFC Fans Liaison Manager)
MH - Have the Joint Administrators had any meetings with the consortium
being fronted by Rob Lloyd?
MK - Andrew Andronikou (AA) and MK met with Rob Lloyd (RL) on Monday after
the Liverpool game. In order to progress matters RL was asked for proof of funding and the identity of who he was working for. As yet this information has yet to be forwarded. As of Saturday morning none of this information had been provided. Accordingly RL and his consortium have not been given access to the data room as yet.
CF - What would constitute proof of funds?
MK - A letter from the consortium's bank showing they have the necessary funds banked with them.
MH - Was the RL consortium one of the two consortium that were looking to but PFC before administration occurred.
MK - Yes, he believes they were one of the two.
MH - What role does Peter Storrie (PS) still have with the club?
MK - PS is now a consultant/advisor at the club although his remuneration has yet to be agreed. He has been retained for his knowledge of the FA Cup process, and also future knowledge with regard player sales.
MH - Does AA stand by the comments in made in the media regarding PS?
MK - AA was misquoted as his statement was taken out of context. AA prepared a statement clarifying what he said however it is not certain if this was issued.
MH - Previous estimates of £26 million being owed to PFC for player transfers were shown in the media, however at the previous meeting with the Joint Administrators, MK advised that we are now only owed £0.5m for player sales. Where has the other £25.5m gone?
MK - Although couldn't say for sure, the likelihood is it was taken early in order to pay on going running costs. However until the reconciliation of the player transfer position and the investigation into the affairs of the Company had been completed it was not possible to confirm the position.
MH - Has the joint Administrators clarified that all future revenue to the club can come directly to the club?
MK - Yes, all future payments will come into the club. MK confirmed that current debt is estimated around £78m.
MH - Are you intending on drawing down part or all of future parachute payments?
MK - Yes, but will only draw down what is needed for running costs between now and the end of the season. Once the transfer window opens they will be able to generate money in player transfers. Furthermore there are no factored debts nor have advances been taken on TV rights, merchandising etc.
MH - Have any financial irregularities come to light as yet?
MK - The investigation into the affairs of the Company had not yet been started.
MH - What about press reports that large sums of money have gone unaccounted for in particular AA's comment in the Telegraph..
MK - A repayment of £4m had been made to Portpin in respect of their loan prior to the Administration however he was unable to comment on the other payments of £1.5m that had been mentioned in the newspaper article.
MH - With regard Balram Chainrai (BC) creditor status, has this been agreed and accepted as yet?
MK - As a result of the information provided to the HMRC they have withdrawn their challenge to the validity of the floating charge and consequentially the validity of the Administrators appointment. Accordingly the HMRC's winding up petition has been suspended.
MH - Will you consider a bid to buy the club from BC?
MK - Yes. The joint Administrators will look at every viable bid received and judge it on its own merits. However, as yet no formal bids have been received.
MH - How many bids have been dismissed by the Joint Administrators?
MK - None. All interested parties have been asked to provide proof of funding and they must also advise who the investors are. They also must be able to show not only the ability to buy the club, but fund it going forward as well. However with regard the CVA this can be agreed before a buyer is found, as there is no clear indication of who the buyer will be as yet. MK indicated that any potential buyer will also be considered on the grounds of that they are good for the club and fans as a whole, not just have the money to buy it.
MH - How will creditors be selected for the creditors committee?
MK - A part of the consent order it has been agreed that a provisional creditors committee will be formed prior to the creditors meeting and this is likely to form of creditors owed in excess of £1m. A formal creditors committee will be formed after the initial creditors meeting and will have a minimum of 3 but a maximum of members. However the initial creditors meetings has yet to be organised, but will be done so in the next month.
MH - Has forensic accounting begun yet?
MK - Not started yet, but the data room has been prepared for any parties who want to begin due diligence. However, there will be a full and thorough investigation of all the accounts.
MH - Does the Joint Administrator know the date by which the CVA has to be agreed in order to avoid a points penalty for next season?
MK - End of the current season, however MK will check and advise of the specific date.
MH - Has anything been agreed with Premier League (PL) as to assistance with funding?
MK - We are currently looking to agree a way forward with the PL. There is a proposal on the table, however they are unable to disclose details until it has been completely agreed.
MH - If we lose the semi final will players be sold?
MK - Possible but unlikely as we are still outside the PL transfer window and unable to sell players presently.
CF - Does the club really want to sell players in the middle of finding new owners, as they may not want players to be sold?
MK - Impossible to answer as we still don't know who the new owners will be. It may well be that any new owner may want to retain some individual players.
MH - Why are the Joint Administrators looking to take early parachute payments from the PL, when BC said he would finance the club through the administration process?
MK - Negotiations with the PL are on going however any funding from BC would have to be repaid.
MH - Will there be any more redundancies?
MK - No, there are no plans at present to make any further cutbacks on staff. I can confirm that the Community Centre will remain open.
MH - Costs of the administrators. Are the joint administrators paying for match tickets and was the advertising for UHY Hacker Young paid for?
MK - At present the only people who have attended matches are AA, MK and TM however the position regarding the tickets would be reviewed. The advert on the electronic scoreboards was paid for by UHY Hacker Young.
MH - Has there been a plan formulated as yet for the sale/price of season tickets for next season?
MK - Season ticket prices to be discussed this week. Prices need to be set now in order to plan for the future.
MH - Have the Joint Administrators discussed reducing ticket prices for games this season in order to sell out Fratton Park ?
MK - To be reviewed.
BG - Following the meetings that were held last week, is Mike saying (as per his first answer) that the current main interested party weren't at any of these meetings?
MK replied that he was only at the meeting held on Monday, so couldn't comment on details of any further meetings during that week.
BG Could he categorically state that the investors weren't at the other meetings?
MK - Repeated his previous answer and added that AA said, this morning, that no proof of funds had been provided or the main investors hadn't been confirmed.
BD - With regard Season Ticket and Match Day ticket prices, does the Joint Administrators realise the importance of pleasing the fans, and are they taking PISA's pricing strategy seriously?
MK - Yes, it is important to get the prices right for the fans.
PW - Will the joint Administrators be looking and the whole and future plans of any prospective buyer?
MK - Yes, the y will be asked to submit a business plan for the next 1-5 years.
LS - Does a buyer have to be found before the Football League deadline for any points deduction?
MK - No, the CVA needs to be in place before the deadline.
CF - What is the position with regard money owed to Alexandre Gaydamak and has the y been any progress on this?
MK - AA has had meetings with SG and his Trustees, and the y are making good progress.
CF - Can we take it that the land surrounded Fratton Park is included in these discussions?
MK - Yes, it has be discussed.
CF - Have you had any discussions with any o the r groups than the Rob Lloyd consortium, and are that consortium the furthest ahead in the process?
MK - As yet Rob Lloyd consortium hasn't provided the necessary information requested, so they are no further ahead than anyone else. However, yes the re have been discussions with o the r interested parties.
JC - Is PS being retained for the knowledge in his head regarding the accounting?
MK - No not at all, if the re are any discrepancies in the accounting, they will find them themselves.
AT - MK mentioned that the Joint Administrators are asking for full details of all prospective owners and members of their syndicates. I appreciate that whilst we are in the PL this information is required to meet the "fit and proper rules". However, in the Football League I understand that the rules are somewhat more relaxed, a case in point is Leeds united where the ultimate owners are still not known. Can you confirm that you will indeed maintain the stance of requiring full details of all parties in order that we do not go through that which we have for the last few months?
MK - After the last 6 months, it is important for the club going forward that the y get the right people running the club, so the reason for this is that they feel it is doing "the right thing"
DT - The HMRC have said this week that they are looking for 100 pence in the pound to be repaid by the club, does this create a problem?
MK - Doesn't foresee it being a problem. Further discussion will be held with all creditors in the next month to discuss the way forward.
MH - In terms of Non Disclosure Agreements (NDA) is this the first thing that is done with any prospective buyer, and have many been sent out?
MK - the process is as follows: 1) A preliminary sales pack has been prepared, for which any prospective buyer must pay £5k to show their intent. This amount is their fully refundable or given to charity. So far 2/3 parties have paid the £5k. 2) A NDA agreement is then signed and then proof of funding is required before they can commence due diligence. If any purchaser requires exclusivity then a non refundable lock out fee will have to be paid.
MH - Is Tanya Robbins still with the club?
MK - Yes, although she resigned from the board of directors she is still employed by the club as Finance Department manager.
MH - Does MK think that the Joint Administrators have retained enough staff on the ground to keep the club running?
MK - Yes
BG - Does an interested party have to pay for exclusivity?
MK - To look at the data room any interested party must be able to provide proof of funds, however a lock out fee is only paid if they require exclusivity.
Meeting finished, next meeting set for week after Aston Villa game, and will be a midweek evening.