latest news, march 2009

Terras face administration as Beer deal is off
By Adam Summers

Saturday 14th March 2009

WEYMOUTH Football Club is facing administration after Devon investor Stephen Beer pulled out of a £300,000 cash injection into the debt-ridden club.

Mr Beer, who is still recovering in Dorset County Hospital from a stroke he suffered on Tuesday, has told club officials that he never realised the full extent of the problems at the Wessex Stadium and that is the reason why he has pulled out of the deal.

That has now left the Terras contemplating administration despite repeated interest from former chairman Ian Ridley and a local consortium of nine businessmen, who both submitted separate offers of a rescue package last month.

A statement from the Weymouth FC board reads: “Stephen Beer’s investment, as has been well documented, is not going to happen and that has now been confirmed.

“There has been constant speculation from numerous ill-informed sources about what will and won’t happen but one thing we can confirm that we are taking a lot of advice on is administration.

“Once that is concluded a decision will be made after the weekend.”

Terras’ director Ian Winsor carried out the due diligence on Mr Beer’s offer.

He added: “Mr Beer clearly got cold feet. He did have a bit of money and being a major football fan he thought he could help the club.

“However, what has happened, is that he has spent too long in Weymouth over the last couple of weeks and through speaking to people heard so much bitterness that he got scared.

“After he had the stroke he admitted that the problems at Weymouth were bigger than he thought they first were.

“Now that clearly does not help the club.

“Administration is being looked at but there are still people prepared to talk, like the consortium of nine local businessmen, Ian Ridley and Malcolm Curtis.

“I strongly believe that the club must not go into administration but it might well be inevitable. Whatever happens though, a decision needs to be made quickly.”

Mr Winsor said that he carried out all the relevant checks on Mr Beer.

He said that the club was not actually required to do any due diligence in law.

Mr Winsor said that Mr Beer said that the funds were coming from Abbey National.

He added that because that was a bank in the UK the club knew they would carry out all the relevant checks.

Mr Winsor says that he also did credit checks and looked at Companies House to see if Mr Beer was a disqualified director or part of a business that was in liquidation.

Mr Winsor said: “There was nothing to suggest he was involved in any criminal activity or indeed that he did not have the money.

“Mind you, there was also nothing to suggest that he did have it.

“I did ask him for a letter from the Abbey National saying that the funds were in the process of being transferred. I then asked for one again on the morning of the press conference and he said he would get it because, believe me, I would not have got up in front of everyone without it.

“The only other thing I would have loved to have got was a letter of good character from his solicitor.”

Mr Winsor added that Mr Beer’s solicitor said he could not do anything because he had not been acting for Mr Beer for long.

Mr Beer was unavailable for comment.


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