Aldershot Town joint administrators, Carl Jackson and Paul Goddard held a press conference today at the EBB Stadium. After introducing themselves Mr Jackson read a short statement summarising the process that had brought them to Aldershot Town.
"At 10.05 yesterday morning, 2 May Aldershot Town FC went into administration and both myself and Paul Goddard of Quantuma Restructuring were appointed joint administrators. let me begin by explaining why the company has gone into administration. It was apparent that the company were unable to pay their debts as and when they fell due, wages and salaries for the month of April were due on Monday and went unpaid, there were also other pressing creditor payments that were due and thirdly discussions with third party investors which had been ongoing as I understand it failed to reach a positive conclusion. Therefore in order to preserve the business assets the directors believed that administration was the only viable route forward and as such placed the company into administration yesterday as referred earlier. All directors of the football club have been communicated with and we will have appropriate dialogue with them as this process continues.
"Let me establish from the very outset that our overiding and immediate object is to understand the day to day finances of the business, to ensure we can keep the club going while at the same time live within its means. The ultimate objective of course is to both ensure the long-term survival of the club and at the same time satisfy the creditors that they have got the best return possible. Therefore, once I have a thorough understanding of the clubs finances I will then procede to develop a restructuring plan. we are committed to resolving things efficiently and effectively when possible by being communicative and transparent. Of course we were only appointed less than 30 hours ago and we are not keen to make any statements where we are not certain of the facts. We are working hard to resolve the situation swiftly and efficiently and effectively for all concerned. Communications, and I am acutely aware that communication in any businesses is critical these days, communications leading up to this may not have been as some would have liked leading up to our appointment. However, that was not our responsibility. Our focus as I have reiterated remains to ensure that the best job is done for all the benefit of all the stakeholders involved in the club.
"We do of course recognise the importance of the vital support the club enjoys from its devoted fans and I will seek to have regular dialogue with supporters. Indeed I am hoping to meet a representative of the Supporters Club either later on this afternoon or very early next week.
"We acknowledge that football and general staff not having been paid is obviously a key issue and we expect to have further information during next week to be able to make a decision on payment. We would not going forward expect anyone to work for nothing and it would be hoped that the appropriate arrangements can be made. Going forward into the coming days and weeks we will seek to engage with the players, staff and other key stakeholders as regularly and as openly as possible. That concludes my statement."
Mr Jackson then invited questions from the floor. Tim Durrans from BBC Radio Surrey asked where where did it leave staff, particularly players and the football management at the moment. Mr Jackson explained that administration allowed time for a restructuring plan to be put together, to buy time to protect the assets. A meeting was held yesterday with staff at the club and it is hoped to have dialogue with players shortly.
Mr Jackson said that they prefer to be in and out of a business as quickly as possible. He confirmed that they had been in dialogue with both the Football League and the Football Conference today to announce their appointment and that there would be further talks. He was aware of the 8 June deadline of the Conference AGM and the slightly different rules between the two. He went on to add that the most popular route out of administration with football clubs was a CVA and it was likely that the club would look at that.
Regarding the impact on local companies on monies owed Mr Jackson said that after only thirty hours it was too early to tell but he would make a 'guesstimate' at total liabilities being around £1,000,000 with around £300,000 being football related and around £7,00,000 being other creditors.
Regarding the process of the club being put into administration Mr Jackson said that it was a decision made by all directors. There were two separate meetings, both of which resolved to place the club in administration. Mr Jackson was involved in one of those meetings. When there is a secured creditor, in this case the McGinty trust, they have a veto on the nominated insolvency practitioner. Mr Jackson was nominated by some of the directors and Mr McGinty was happy with that decision.
In response to a question from Terry Owens, Chair of the Supporters Trust, Mr Jackson said that he would be planning to reopen discussions with the two or three parties who had shown interest in the club prior to administration and would be happy to open discussions with anyone who had a genuine interest in taking the club forward and who have the funding to do so. He added that in the past thirty hours he had had two or three more expressions of interest.
In closing and in answer to a question from Paul Marcus, Eagle Radio CEO, Mr Jackson said that he would like to think that whatever deal was made would be in the best interests of every stakeholder of Aldershot Town and that included supporters.