latest news, october 2009

Statement from Matt Hale

Tuesday 14th October 2009

ECHOSPORT can today publish the letter that could spell the end of the Terras’ 119-year existence.

The letter, sent by former chairman Malcolm Curtis to the current board of directors, reveals that both Barclays Bank and Carlsberg have issued demands for repayment of money owed to them.

The Terras’ overdraft with Barclays stands at around £25,000 while the sum owed to the Danish brewing company is believed to be less, but still a five-figure sum nonetheless.

Weymouth director Ian Winsor revealed in yesterday’s Echosport that the club would not be able to meet the demands being made.

Both debts are guaranteed by Curtis. But the property developer states in his letter that he will “look to collect” his loan of £221,000 plus interest, “from Weymouth FC Ltd or its directors personally”, should the Terras fail to respond, or fail to settle matters with Carlsberg and Barclays Bank, within two weeks – a period which effectively ends on Monday, October 26.

And the threat of being issued with a winding up petition, which could result in the Terras ceasing to exist, continues to hang over the club’s head.

Despite the revelation that Carlsberg has also issued a demand for repayment, Winsor insists the club’s situation remains unchanged.

He said: “In the grand scheme of things it doesn’t make any difference whatsoever because if we can’t pay one of the guarantees we can’t pay any.

“We remain determined to take this club forward though. Events may eventually defeat us but we won’t walk away.”

Curtis, whom the club is set to take legal action against on the grounds of gross negligence and misfeasance during his time as chairman, is adamant that the club must deal with the outstanding issues.

He said: “I’ve not called in the loan, I’ve given the club 14 days to deal with the overdrafts. That’s all I want them to do.

“We had a legal agreement in place in regards to my loan and I agreed to park it, on the grounds of them dealing with certain things.

“One of the terms of the loan agreement was that they would take full responsibility for the guarantees – I didn’t force them to do it and there is a board minute to say they would go with it.”

Asked if he would consider the possibility of winding the club up, Curtis replied: “I don’t want to say I would or I wouldn’t.

“I just want to deal with the issues at hand, which are that two loans have been called in and I’m doing all I can to ensure the club deals with them.”

When contacted by Echosport, Barclays issued the following statement: “We have worked closely with Weymouth FC over many months to resolve some of the high profile issues the club is facing.

“We continue to seek constructive dialogue with Weymouth FC to achieve a satisfactory resolution for all parties concerned.”

Managed only a month ago the Terras were celebrating having raised £50,000 through the Saviour 100 scheme.

Asked how much of that money was still available for use, Winsor added: “There’s still a reasonable amount left but it’s being managed as carefully as it can.

“People will say why not use the money to pay off these creditors but we have to pay what we believe are the right things to keep the club going, such as players’ wages, as only then can any creditor have a chance of being paid off.”

Winsor remains Curtis’ personal accountant but insists there is no conflict of interests.

He said: “I am still his accountant but I have no real reason not to be as I can distance myself.

“I was his accountant when he bought the club in the first place and in fact he is the sole reason why I’m involved in the business of Weymouth Football Club.”


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