Ex-chairman says football club committee should pay debts
A MOVE to ask former committee members to cough up some of Hucknall Town FC's debts has been branded "outrageous".
The football club announced last week that it would close its social club, the Talk of the Town, off Watnall Road, and did not know whether it would exist beyond the away fixture with Coalville on Saturday.
But former chairman Brian Holmes has called a meeting for all ex-committee members over the past five years, "expecting" them to help pay off the club's debts, estimated at more than £20,000.
Mr Holmes also re-opened the social club, which he owns, and said the club would remain in operation "for ever".
Choose from 100's of Carpet, Vinyl & Laminate Floor and get any for Half Price. Simply print off this voucher and mention This is Nottingham when you arrange your free estimate.
Terms: One voucher per order. Can not be used with any other offer or discount. Voucher must be produced at time of sale. Don't miss out, this offer ends Thursday and will not be repeated.
Contact: 0115 8969583
Valid until: Thursday, May 23 2013
"Committee members are liable to the club's debt, according to the club's rule book," he said. "I expect them to contribute towards the club's debt. It would be in their interest to return."
But Sherwood MP Mark Spencer, who previously helped negotiate a pay-back deal with the taxman, said: "You can ask anybody to pay. But demanding payment is outrageous, especially at a time where people don't have huge amounts of money to spare.
"An aggressive 'you have to pay this' kind of approach isn't likely to make the people you want to help you, help you.
"There is also a danger of people rushing to their lawyers, which could increase the club's debt even further."
Former chief executive Liz Morley, a self-employed business consultant, has been asked to help the club out of its financial troubles. She joined in October 2010 to help it pay off about £87,000 owed the taxman and left in the summer of 2011.
She helped to raise £50,000, with £25,000 from donations by friends and members of the club and another £25,000 from a loan provided by the club's landlord, Welbeck Estates Ltd.
About 25 people, who were "desperate to save the club", she said, agreed to pay back this loan and the club entered an agreement with the taxman to pay back the remaining £37,000 over two years. The agreement also said the club should always pay income tax and national insurance on time.
If everyone had stuck to this agreement, Miss Morley added, the debts would be around £19,500. However, she said she had been told at least two payments had been missed.
"I don't know what the total amount of debt is," she said. "And I don't know if it will be possible to save the club."
Former general manager Steve Peat left last Thursday.
Coach Darren Kelk, who took Hucknall to face Evo-Stik First Division South leaders Coalville Town on Saturday, said "administrative errors" meant he had only 11 players to choose from.
"We lost 5-0, but we created ten good chances," he said.
"I've been told to prepare the team for the season and the Evo-Stik, so I'm optimistic."
When asked whether players were likely to get paid again this season, Mr Kelk said: "Categorically no. We have no money.
" We will, however, reimburse players for expenses such as fuel for away games."
Tonight's meeting, at 7.30 in the social club, is private.