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P&A Partnership could drop Plymouth case 14 October 2011

The company blamed pressure from supporters which it claims have been ‘hampering negotiations’.

Rumours had been circling within the industry in recent weeks that P&A Partnership were considering walking away from the case, which has taken much longer than many anticipated.

P&A was appointed as the administrator on 4 March 2011, with Brendan Guilfoyle as the lead administrator.

In today’s statement – issued through an external public relations agency - Brendan Guilfoyle said: “Our main priority is to get a deal over the line to save the club’s future but the current campaign being directed at the P&A Partnership by some fans is hampering negotiations.

“Unless protestors desist it is highly likely that the Joint Administrators will take steps to resign from office on Monday.” Guilfoyle said that the ‘campaign’ by fans was disrupting his business and taking the administrators’ focus off the job in hand.

Concern for staff welfare

He added: “We are also deeply concerned about the associated risk to the wellbeing and personal safety of The P&A Partnership staff. No business or its employees should be subject to such foul, abusive and threatening emails.

“If we have to withdraw then the company’s former directors will have to resolve the current issues and we anticipate that HM Revenue and Customs would take immediate steps to wind up the club.”

Guilfoyle said it was not appropriate to go into detail, but negotiations with Akkeron Group were ongoing.

He continued: “I can say that the amount they are prepared to contribute to the administration costs is currently unacceptable.

“The reason we can’t pay the wages is that we simply don’t have the surplus after deducting the costs we have to pay for running the club. These include VAT, match day expenses, utilities and maintenance costs, player accommodation and travel, insurance premiums and ancillary professional fees i.e. valuers and the PFA’s solicitors.”

'Not seeking full payment'

Both the P&A Partnership and Walker Morris are not seeking payment in full and have already stated they are agreeable to accepting a lesser figure to facilitate the sale of the club.

Guilfoyle said that, from the outset of the administration, Plymouth City Council made it clear that it wanted the administrators to find a private sector solution to the club’s financial difficulties.

He said: “It is for this reason that the joint administrators pursued a sale of the business and asset of the company to a consortium represented by Kevin Heaney as far as they possibly could.

“It was only when Kevin Heaney, and others, formally withdrew their interest that the joint administrators could provide PCC with an assurance that no private sector solution was available. Also, I should stress that the offer made by Akkeron Group in March was, at that stage, unacceptable to the company’s creditors.

“It is regrettable that we are in this position, but given the level of contribution we are seeking from the Akkeron Group we consider that the gap is bridgeable and could be negotiated or obtained in an alternative way.

"I would personally urge fans to end their disruptive action and please let all parties negotiate the best possible outcome they can to save their football club.”



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