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Northwich Victoria's former administrator says he is not to blame for the club's relegation
NORTHWICH Victoria’s former administrator says the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League was right to punish the club for breaking finance rules.
Gary Pettit, an insolvency practitioner hired by Vics owner Jim Rushe in 2009 after the firm that then paid the players’ wages – Northwich Victoria Football Club (2004) Ltd – had entered administration, denies he is to blame for the team’s relegation to play at a lower level.
In a statement issued exclusively to the Guardian, he argues that Mr Rushe is wrong to accuse him of not making regular monthly payments to companies to which the club owes money.
”RECENT comments surrounding culpability for the further demise of Northwich Victoria Football Club are woefully inaccurate.
It must be repeated that the terms and obligations under the Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) that was approved by both creditors and the club [in December 2009] are clear and unequivocal.
For the sake of clarity, a CVA is best described as a contract between a company (the club in this case) and its creditors that provides for a better return to the latter than alternative insolvency routes.
The CVA was entered into as a means of exiting from administration and an enormous amount of effort was made to ensure the club could survive.
In the club’s case the accord provided for monthly payments, together with some other financial commitments, to be paid into the CVA for the benefit of its creditors.
This is in addition to the FA Cup monies that were recovered, which is entirely separate to the monthly payment commitment.
In summary, the CVA provided for receipt of the FA Cup monies, a bond in case of subsequent PAYE arrears and a total of 61 payments (£10,000 on approval plus £2,500 per month thereafter) to be paid into the CVA.
Only the FA Cup money has been received, and its dispersal has been towards administration and trading costs that have been approved by creditors.
Given that neither the bond, nor the monthly payments, have been paid the club is in almost total breach of the CVA terms.
Although lengthy discussions have taken place, it is with deep regret that the club refuses to accept its obligations have not been honoured under the CVA terms.
Had the club accepted its clear and unequivocal breaches to the CVA and agreed to remedy them in an appropriate manner then it is possible the outcome of the recent FA appeal may have been different.
Clearly, we will now never know.
Taking the undisputable facts into consideration, the joint supervisors of the CVA have their hands well and truly tied and must therefore follow their duty in that respect."