Wednesday, April 01, 2009

1 April 2009: How Lowe?

As I write, the current BBC report states the following:

... it means the Saints are now threatened by liquidation and could drop out of the Football League, if SLH [the parent company] fails to attract new investment by the end of the summer.

I therefore may have to take back what I said about Saints not making it to the end of this season. Instead it looks more like they might not make it to the start of the next one.

Let's not forget, this is the all under the chairmanship of Rupert Lowe, who decided to [insert story representing his idiocy here].

Oh, you want an actual Rupert Lowe story? And not the Klingon one? OK, how about blowing 2.5 million quid on Jelle Van Damme at the beginning of the relegation season in 2004/05, essentially because he had a name that fans might want to have on the back of their replica shirts. He played four Premiership games (generally badly) and headed off to Werder Bremen for an undisclosed fee (which may or may not have been one pound).

This whole fiasco makes the Hotelicopter thing look quite sensible.

Update 9.12am eastern: Sky Sports News now reporting that a board meeting (without Lowe for some reason) has broken up and Southampton Leisure Holdings has been placed in administration, with official announcement to be made tomorrow.

Update 10.37am eastern: Sounds pretty much confirmed that there will be an announcement tomorrow afternoon UK time regarding the placing of SLH in administration. The points-to-be-deducted-or-otherwise debate continues, centring mainly on the experience of Derby County in 2004, who avoided points deductions either because the parent company, not the FC, went into administration, or because it was the season before the rules changed. Nobody is quite sure which.

Update 10.59am eastern: The Times now reporting that SLH is in administration, and that there will be no points deduction. The plot thickens...

"Southampton Leisure Holdings plc was placed into administration today with debts of £27.5 million but the club will not lose points because the holding company, not the club itself, went into administration."

Update 2.32pm eastern: While official news outlets are drying up until tomorrow's Admin announcement, the rumour mill continues and various sources tend to agree that Rupert 'Lower Than' Lowe, along with Andrew 'Sidekick' Cowan and Michael 'Judas' Wilde, are stepping down at 10am tomorrow. The administrator will then attempt to sell off the club (technically an asset - a wholly-owned subsidiary - of the PLC) to anyone with some money (hopefully not Rupert, although don't rule it out). Other rumours include the administrators only having 21 days to find a buyer, and the Football League meeting on Tuesday to determine whether there'll be a point deduction or not.


Nick Gibbins said...

I was wondering how long it would take you to blog about this...

From the Premiership and the Cup Final in 2003 to this. Quite a precipitous fall.

(btw, hadn't seen the hotelicopter before - looks like something straight out of a 1930s Gernsback pulp magazine)

DuncMcRae said...

How long?? Dear Sir Nick, I am live-blogging the Saints collapse!! Ha ha!

Problem is, it's tough from here... best source is BBC Five Live, which currently has Fiona Phillips interviewing Michael Ball, discussing how great Noel Edmonds used to be.

"News and Sport from the BBC", along with pointless chat when there's no news to talk of (just the G20 riots, Shearer taking over at Newcastle and Saints circling the drain...)

DuncMcRae said...

Oh, and the Hotelicopter was just announced today... on.. erm, April 1st...

Of the various jokes today, though, it was the best... I think the Times had something on tartan sheep...