Football Management

Commentary on the management of over 160 English football clubs by Dr John Beech, winner of the FSF Writer of the Year Award 2009/10 Twitter: @JohnBeech Curator of Scoop.it! Football Finance

Administration & ‘Absolute Bollocks’

Posted by John Beech on March 21, 2010

Not my words, I hasten to add; as if.

No, they are the reported words of Portsmouth Administrator Andrew Andronikou in response to allegations of vote-rigging in an IVA which he had previously been responsible for (1).  He has already been in the limelight in connection with the Portsmouth Administration when HMRC initially objected to his appointment.

Certainly what he is faced with is no simple matter.  Already one prospective club owner, Victor Cattermole, has been revealed (by the New Zealand Herald) as ‘a colourful character’ with a criminal recors and a string of failed companies (2).  Rob Lloyd, fronting a different bid for Pompey, insists that the man behind the bid must remain anonymous at this stage (3).

The lot of an Administrator is thus not an easy one, and it is inevitable that much of his negotiation with wannabe owners must take place in private.  That does however raise the prospect that, while justice may be being done, it is not necessarily the case that is being seen to be done.

The difficuly with this when it comes the affairs of companies in Administration is the stage at which transparency can reasonably enter the equation.  The problem, as I see it, is that full transparency doesn’t always seem to happen even in retrospect.

The current Portsmouth case is not alone as an example of where we may not get full transparency.  Other cases which spring to mind – and I emphasise that I am not questioning whether justice was done, but am querying whether it was uncompromisingly seen to be done – are Chester City (see posts passim), Halesowen Town (see posts passim), and Leeds United (where the club was seemingly bought back from the Administrator).

Unless we can develop a system which allows full transparency, at the very least in retrospect, we will not have a system that avoids contention and suspicion, and there will be the danger of a question mark hanging over some cases of Administration.  This strikes me as particular prone to happen in those instances where Administration is Voluntary.

Any thoughts from the legal fraternity?

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One Response to “Administration & ‘Absolute Bollocks’”

  1. John Beech said

    PORTSMOUTH LATEST

    The full extent of the Pompey Horror Show is now available for public consumption from the Administrators’ website (1). Be warned that it is a lengthy and detailed document.
    My quick initial reaction is that, given that Andrew Andronikou is reported as being optimistic that a CVA can be agreed quickly, there must be significant potential developments with a new club owner that are not yet in the public domain. Unfortunately I’m about to head North on a work-related trip (back very late tomorrow), but I plan to blog on the Pompey Horror Show shortly.

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