Administration the last resort for Magpies – new owner Ray Trew
NOTTS County's new owner Ray Trew today said he will not consider putting the club into administration unless he uncovers more debts at Meadow Lane.
Trew says he was told the Magpies' debts stood at £3.9m on Monday, before buying a 90 per cent share of the club for £1.
He has got a team of accountants which was going through the club's books today – and fears the debts could be even higher than that.
He said: "In the period in which I have been in discussions with Notts, which is about three or four weeks the debts have risen by £1m.
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"It was disclosed to me on Monday they stood at £3.9m but there might be other skeletons in the cupboard, so I have got accountants going into the club today.
"If the debt remains as it was disclosed to me we will ride the storm.
"If it is greater I will have to reevaluate, but administration will be a last resort."
Trew, 55, admits his priority is to pay off the club's tax bill, after they were served with a wind-up petition from HM Revenue and Customs over an unpaid £324,000 tax bill.
He said he will pay that off by next Friday.
He would not discuss how much cash he will be ploughing into the club.
However, he outlined ambitions to guide Notts County into the Championship within three years.
"Our priority is to pay the Inland Revenue, and the liabilities are far greater than £324,000," he added.
"Our short-term plans are to bring some stability to the club.
"I will make cuts where I can make them, I certainly believe the administration staff is over-manned.
"I'm not prepared to discuss my personal finances.
"But I will support the club and put it on a sustainable financial footing.
"Chairmen and directors are only temporary custodians of the club and they have to keep it going for generations to come.
"Notts County has got to live in the real world, unfortunately it hasn't been.
"There is going to be investment, we're not going in there to asset strip.
"Our ambition is to get promoted this season and to get the club into the Championship.
"I think we can get there in three years, four maximum, and that is not pie in the sky, that is an achievable target."
Trew added: "The club's debts didn't put me off.
"Don't get me wrong there is a big job ahead.
"The biggest problem is on the football side because we have a transfer embargo because of the insolvency proceedings."
Mr Trew said: "We are outside a transfer window so we have to ride the storm to the end of the season."