Date Published: 5th January 2021
As of 11am today (5 January) the Administrators have broken off negotiations with the Spanish bidder. The facts are that as late as Christmas Eve the Bidder indicated that they wanted to complete the deal immediately and had wired money from Spain to their UK solicitors. This was confirmed as being received by their solicitors over the Christmas period. The sale contract was agreed, the documentation had been signed in relation to the assignment of the leases with Wigan Council (Stadium) and College (Training Ground) and completion was planned to take place in between Christmas and New Year.
However, over this weekend we received a letter from the Bidder reducing the bid by almost 50%. This would not allow us to pay non-football creditors the required 25p in the pound to avoid further sanctions against the Club. This would result in a 15-point deduction and would effectively relegate the Club to League 2. The Purchaser was insistent on offering the reduced price but was not prepared to conclude the deal unless the 15-point deduction was waived. Under the EFL insolvency policy, this is not possible and the deal is therefore unable to be concluded.
We have informed the EFL and are now starting to talk to other bidders who have expressed interest and will provide an update when there is any definite news.
Gerald qualified in 1971 as an ACA with Peat Marwick Mitchell and subsequently joined Bartfields Chartered Accountants where he began to specialise in Insolvency. He was one of the first licence holders in 1986 when he specialised in CVAs before they became more popular. Gerald has worked on numerous successful cases including Krasner v Dennison, for which he won in the Court Of Appeal and as a consequence changed the treatment of a bankrupts' pensions.
In 2004 he became chairman and part owner of Leeds United AFC which had debts of circa £103 million. These were reduced to £24 million before the club was sold the following year. In 2007 he sold the insolvency division of Bartfields to Begbies Traynor and became a partner at the firm.
Gerald has lectured both nationally and internationally to fellow insolvency practitioners and other professionals, and has also been involved in committees for both R3 and Insol.