Tuesday, June 30, 2009

30 June 2009: Withdrawn

Breaking rumours from Southampton are that the Pinnacle bid for Saints, spearheaded by Matt Le Tissier, has been withdrawn. More as and when it's substantiated...

Update 8.49 eastern: Daily Echo now reporting this too. Apparently Marc Jackson's bid has also been withdrawn (no surprise given that he's a complete chancer who also did the same thing with a fake bid for AFC Bournemouth), thus leaving the "mystery overseas bid" as the only one left. Rumour is that this is the Swiss bid, but whether they'll be able to (or even just want to) complete by end of week remains to be seen.

If not, the firesale will continue, and if wages are not paid then the club gets wound up, starting at the end of this week.

Update 9.24 eastern: Le Tissier said in a statement released to Sky Sports News: "It is with great regret and frustration, due to ongoing issues with the Football League, that I and in turn those behind the Pinnacle consortium have decided to withdraw our interest in purchasing Southampton football club.

"With the ongoing issues with the Football League persisting, our backers have simply refused to provide the requisite funds to complete the takeover.

"I hope beyond hope that (administrator) Mark Fry can find a buyer for the club. We were unaware of the issues with the Football League when we entered into our agreement to purchase the club, and them coming to light so late in the day has resulted in our backers' decision not to proceed with the terms on offer."

Update 9.44 eastern: Just noted a story from earlier today from the Echo, where Mark Wotte (still Head Coach) said his contract ran out at end of today, so he would revert to being Academy Director at that point; similarly coaches Dean Gorre and Michael Svennson both have contracts that expire today, meaning that as of tomorrow there are no coaches for the first team. Stewart Henderson, who coaches the youth team, would be the most senior coach on the staff and so might lead the coaching sessions, but who knows? Kelvin Davis - captain and goalkeeper - is also out of contract as of today, and is expected to sign for West Ham as a free agent tomorrow. So maybe having no coaches won't be a problem - there'll be no players to coach. All looks pretty bleak to be honest: winding up seems to be occurring in all but name.

Update 10.19 eastern: The normal sign of a big Saints rumour day has occurred, perhaps a little later than expected: the Saints Web Forum has crashed with a database error.

Update 10.38 eastern: Word is that the Football League, not content with removing the right of appeal for the 10 point penalty, are also going to enforce a further 10 point penalty because of the slowness of the takeover process and another 7 points because wage payments have been missed, leading to Saints beginning next season in League One on -27 points. Or, to put it another way, already relegated to League Two... and that's why Pinnacle's financial backers have pulled out. Well, would you pay an alleged fourteen million pounds for a relegation-bound team headed for division four? Answer (1) no because it's a bad investment (Pinnacle bid) and (2) no because you don't even have fourteen quid (Marc Jackson).

Update 11.35 eastern: Mark Fry, the Administrator, has released a surprisingly positive statement in which he says he isn't surprised that Pinnacle pulled out but he's hopeful of a sale. Other news is that the club employees have now been paid (presumably as a result of David McGoldrick's sale) and the Swiss bid may now be one of two, the other being an unnamed overseas bid. Rumours that Marc Jackson may still have another backer are continuing, and depressing: doesn't he know when to shut up?

Update 1.23pm eastern: Matt Le Tissier said on Solent that he was disappointed the backers pulled out and that it's basically the fault of the Football League. However, on the relevant Saints forum thread (requires registration I believe) the club historian Duncan Holley ("Fitzhugh Fella" on the boards) has been spilling a few beans about how both MLT and Tony ('Pinnacle') Lynam had frank discussions with him over the weekend about how MLT had convinced the group to accept the deduction in the interests of the club, and how very possibly there never was a consortium (consisting of one or more people) with any real money to take over - even to the point of sending threatening txt msgs to Duncan late Saturday night to stop him from posting these details on the messageboards. As one poster pointed out, if a multi-million pound consortium takeover can be put off by one angry opinion on an internet site, then perhaps it's just a house of cards after all. And here it comes, tumbling down.

Update 1.29 eastern: Just a word on Mr Holley, he's someone who generally knows what's going on and doesn't post gossip, preferring facts: he's a statistician, after all. Direct quote: "When it is right I will post the e mail etc and the full story on Pinnacle but suffice to say I don't think there was a cat in hell's chance of them being serious and Fry and Co have been stitched up."


McDougal said...

its even got as far as the BBC now "Southampton have suffered a huge blow after prospective buyers Pinnacle pulled out of negotiations to buy the financially-stricken League One club."

I guess the worry is that even Le Tiss couldn't pull the rabbit out of the hat this time, he used to do it on the field but the problems with the football league do seem to be taking the form of a can of worms. There's more to this than Mr Fry is letting on obviously.

I remember the time when Chelsea were hours from being wound up then some russian bloke appeared, bought the club for a quid and settled their debts in the stroke of a pen.

Can't see similar happening for saints, its just little old saints... not sure I'd want it to though.

Didn't think I'd ever be yearing for the "glory" days of trapdoor dodging.

McDougal said...

They're just going to fold aren't they, this whole thing is a shambles.

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