George Rolls, Kettering Town & The Morals Of Insolvency

Ian

Ian began writing Twohundredpercent in May 2006. He lives in Brighton. He has also written for, amongst others, Pitch Invasion, FC Business Magazine, The Score, When Saturday Comes, Stand Against Modern Football and The Football Supporter. Ian was the first winner of the Socrates Award For Not Being Dead Yet at the 2010 NOPA awards for football bloggers.

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9 Responses

  1. Mike Bayly says:

    Very good article. Sadly, I can’t see this one having a happy ending.

    On a similar note, it’s silly season in reprieve land. Bedfont Town have withdrawn from the Southern League Central division, with Ware likely to retain their Step 4 status as a result. This is in keeping with the 11th commandment: “thou shalt not relegate two teams from the Isthmian League Division 1 North”

  2. Nathan says:

    Another triumph for the “successful businessman” sole-ownership model.

  3. Geoff says:

    Interesting article but there seems to be a little confusion between CVA and administration. I am not myself an expert on these matters so open to correction but I believe KTFC are aiming to avoid Administration. Proposing a CVA leaves the directors in charge. This is presumably proposed by an existing director, which makes the appointment of two Trust members to the board an interesting move, will one of them shoulder the responsibility. I think the company would still be there for Mr. Rolls to become a director at an appropriate time.

    Were the authorities so inclined it would be very hard to see how Mr. Rolls could avoid being seen as a shadow director and thus failing the fit-and-proper person test but I suspect that Mr. Rolls is clever enough to know what he’s doing and the football authorities spineless enough not to pursue it.

    One would still doubt whether there was really a future for KTFC at Nene Park as a Southern League (or indeed a Conference) club, even if they start getting in revenue from the site and many might wonder if Mr. Rolls really represents a bright future for any club. What did he suddenly find attractive about Kettering, or unattractive about Weymouth, and when will another club catch his eye, no doubt on a purely consultative basis?

    An additional issue that puzzles me is whether the Trust actually have a shareholding yet and if so where those shares came from as it seems Mr. Ladaak has not relinquished his shares yet.

  4. Ian says:

    Geoff, a CVA is a specific legal process that requires the appointment of an administrator in accordance with the Insolvency Act. I’m not at a PC now, but later on I’ll post up a copy of the declaration that club directors have to sign in order to pass the Fit & Proper Persons Test.

  5. Ian says:

    Although, it should be added that a pre-pack administration doesn’t require the appointment of a receiver. It should still count as an “insolvency event” as the FA are concerned for the F&PP tedt.

  6. oftenscore6 says:

    A Company Voluntary Agreement (CVA) is where at least 75% of the creditors agree to accept reduced payments or a longer period over which to pay debts. George Rolls cannot force a CVA unless he owns or controls 75% or more of the debt. Usually, a CVA is the the exit from administration and acceptably settles the previous debt, either immediately or via an agreed payment schedule. There’s nothing to stop clubs/businesses agreeing different payment terms with their creditors outside this (and it happens frequently over staggered transfer payment s, for example). However, if less than 75% agree, a CVA (which applies to all creditors) won’t happen. If the club is already in administration, then failure to agree terms will mean liquidation. If not in administration already, then a winding up order may be forthcoming when payments are not made on time. Weymouth were already in administration when George Rolls bought the club and proposed a CVA, warning of likely liquidation if it was not accepted. Were the debts all built up after he took over? I don’t think they exited administration before the CVA, so he may have been able to deflect the blame for the debts and CVA onto those who took the club into administration.

    On an average crowd of 700, even at £10/head (more than the adult price at most step 3 clubs), gate income will not bring in £20,000 per month. So sponsorship and ancillary spend is going to need to bring in the shortfall there, plus cover all the other costs. That’s a big ask in today’s economic market. Otherwise we’ll be seeing ‘loans’ to the club that they need like a hole in the head, and we’ll be back here again next season. I hope they truly can ‘break even’, or perhaps even save up for a home of their own back in Kettering someday…

  7. Andrew says:

    Ian

    What is the difference between administration and receivership?

  8. Paul says:

    This CVA will be as honest and upright as the Weymouth one was.

  9. Mike says:

    Just a minor thing Weymouth were never in administartion they went straight into a CVA

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