Written by: Keith Tully
Published: 10th July 2015
Creditors of the Salford Red Devils rugby league club have apparently lost patience with the business and issued a winding up petition against it.
Reports suggest that Konica Minolta, one of the club’s creditors, has lodged the petition and will now await a hearing on the matter on August 10th.
For their part, representatives of the Red Devils, officially known as Salford City Reds, have insisted publicly that there are no problems between themselves and Konica Minolta.
According to The BusinessDesk, the position of the rugby league club, which competes at the highest level of the sport in England, is that it is waiting for a response to relevant enquiries from its creditor.
There has been uncertainty surrounding the financial position of Salford Red Devils for a number of years with speculation having been raised last month that it might not be in a position to repay a loan owed to the local council worth £1.5 million.
However, the club’s chief executive Martin Vickers was quick to claim that all debts taken on by the club would be honoured, despite fears rising in some quarters that taxpayer-funded loans might at some stage need to be written off.
“In understanding the reality of the Club’s position, fans need to view the Club’s accounts which show unprecedented levels of investment in a Super League Club by the Club’s owner Marwan Koukash,” Vickers said in statements reported by the Manchester Evening News.
“The Club would also wish to confirm that 100 per cent of the debts of the former Club are being paid in full including those to the Council."
However, the club's claims that all is well have been rebuffed by most supporters, including prominent fan Louise Woodward-Styles.
"It is not only embarrassing but also unprofessional for a club that is owned by a businessmen such as Marwan Koukash - who is reported to be a multi-millionaire. I find such poor mismanagement of finances extremely concerning," said Woodward-Styles.
"Martin Vickers is the CEO and it is within his job description to ensure such financial commitments are repaid on time; he should now be held accountable as to why they haven't.
"It is once more bringing shame and ridicule to a once proud and historic sporting club."
Financial problems have dogged Salford’s rugby league club consistently since the start of the decade, with the current owners of the business subject to the terms of a previously-agreed Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA).
The club’s owner Marwan Koukash held a press conference in late June in an effort to clear up the uncertainty surrounding the club and its finances. He explained that between £300,000 and £400,000 is currently paid out by the club on an annual basis to meet the terms of its CVA.