The third meeting with Gerald Krasner took place this evening, Tuesday 15/09/20
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Latest Krasner Interview
Below is a report of what was said, on the record, from a telephone conversation that lasted 27 minutes.
Progress with bids – I’ve never met with any Saudis, just fake news, I am not down to one bidder by any means, I’ve got three, possibly four bids, all at nearly the same stage. These are actual bids and there are another four interested parties, one of which I spoke with in Spain, but that lasted around seven minutes as they didn’t even know what they were buying.
The bidders are people who have done a lot of due diligence know exactly what they’ve got to do, talking with their lawyers, we’re at that stage. But it’s slow progress, I don’t expect any announcements this week. If it changes we’ll put it on the website.
With regards to the new bidders, it’s the nature of the beast, people coming in at the last minute, we only had one bidder early, they went when we got relegated, then I had to sort out the Yeung debt, £25 million, nobody wanted to touch us with that. That was going to cost another £6 million @25p in the £. That delayed serious bidding, we got a lot of interest but that delayed serious bidding until August. None of this helps of course, just telling you the facts behind it.
You can’t generalise on what may hold up negotiations, they are all different , some are poker faced, whist other sit there with a big smile on their face, you know, you are dealing with human beings who will go at their own time, the worst thing to do is to pressurise them.
Debt – We have got enough money to settle the football debt of £6.4 million, a lot of that has been paid already, that’s why we don’t have a lot of money because we’ve used it to pay off the football debt, which we can’t sell the club with, when we sell the club we still have to pay £1.3 million to save 15 point deduction this season, if we don’t get enough money we won’t be able to pay that, in addition the loss in administration of £3 million+
We’re asking £3m for that stadium, which has got to be worth £10m of anybody’s money, we’re asking half a million for the training ground and half a million for Sharpey’s. None of that is expensive, none of it is overpriced, we’re asking a pound for the football club, that’s definitely cheap, but that £ is only if the rest of it gets sold first.
You can’t cherry pick, it’s a package deal, in fact we’d even let it go without Sharpey’s for £3.5m and we’d sell that separately. The important bit is the stadium with the football club.
Incentive to sell rather than liquidate – None of the legal or administrators cost are being charged to the football club, now when I say no legal costs, the cost of the appeal (EFL) will have to be charged to the football club, are costs and the others are being charged to the property sales.
We owe £1.3m to creditors and the football club owes about £3m in PAYE and VAT, we haven’t hit the end of the quarter yet, this debt is our responsibility. Whoever picks up the club as no liabilities whatsoever to football or creditors except for TUPE, which is taking over the employment rights of people employed at the club. So basically the new owners would be starting with a clean slate.
John Sheridan – The manager should stick with the football and we should stick with the administration and we shouldn’t try to do each others jobs. So if we need a manager we will appoint a manager.
Price for club – We’ve been negotiating for weeks and now we’re at £4m, if we get it wrong we are answerable to the high court.
Dean Watson – He went to the match because he wanted to go, he was asked on Friday if he was going then changed his mind, he drove there and back in the same day and put the petrol in out of his own money.
Transfer Fees – We will do a report, though we won’t break the transfer fees down individually, we will say what we’ve received for players sales and how we’ve spent it, so far we’ve spent quite a bit of it on keeping the players and paying their wages.
Time Scale – Can’t see anything happen this week, it’s Tuesday evening and unless someone moves over night, I don’t think it will be until next week that it moves.
The next step is we could have a signed contract by Friday morning, but the next step is a big one. That is singing that contract and dumping the money in their lawyers account. Then it has to go to the EFL and that takes three weeks, but once I’ve got a signed contract which is subject only to the EFL, we can then start putting pressure on them.
The transfer window shuts on 5th October and once it shuts it’s shut, the buyers now this. The consolidation of the club and making sure they don’t get relegated is what it’s about this season.
When I came in on the 1st July I had 28 days to find £1m or the players would have walked. I haven’t done everything I set out to do, I wanted it sold by the end of July, I’m upset that didn’t happen, but you can’t force someone to sign a contract but what we have done is paid all the wages up to the end of August, done the deal with Mr Yeung, in record time and we finished last season, thanks to the Supporters’ Club. That is remarkable given what I know that has managed to happen. Fans are just going to have to be patient, I’m not going to be forced into doing something we’ll all regret later on.
The figures have to balance.
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