Thursday, July 15, 2010

15 July 2010: Appeal

(Note: Tour De France stuff at end of this blog entry, including links to some fun headbutting-while-on-bicycles video from today's stage.)

The Pompey story, about which my coverage has been somewhat lacking recently, came down to this:

1. Pompey, in administration, proposed a CVA that paid most of the creditors 5p in the pound that they were owed, over four years, thus ending up at a total of 20p. Excluded from this were football creditor (eg Sol Campbell and his image rights) and the current "owner" who also happens to be funding the administration and also happens to be the main - and secured - creditor, one Mr Chainrai. Those dudes all get 100%. HMRC ("the taxman") would not be included in this list, and they're owed a whole bunch.

2. This went to a vote. Need 75% of unsecured creditors (according to amount owed as % of total debt) to say yes. Total debt has been "re-estimated" upwards from 70 million quid to over 130 million by the administrator over the past few months. Still, HMRC said they'd vote against it and they were owed 38 million.

3. On the morning of the vote, the administrator "re-estimated" HMRC's total debt down to 24 million, thus reducing their percentage in the vote. The vote passed.

As a matter of law, creditors unhappy with CVA votes have 28 days to appeal against any such votes. Today is day 28.

And HMRC have appealed.

Two grounds specifically (from that article):
The first was that the interests of HMRC 'have been or will be unfairly prejudiced' by the agreement. The second was that there were 'irregularities' in the way the votes of creditors were taken to secure the agreement.

No kidding. The main point about this is not that they'll necessarily take Andy Android and his cohorts to the High Court (although frankly they should, given the dodgy dealings that have gone on the last few months), but that as the CVA is now suspended and possibly dropped altogether, Pompey can't appoint a new owner. And whatever happens, they face more points deductions and possible winding-up orders, or at the very least they face the prospect of playing in the Championship with no players.

The proposed "new owner" would be Chainrai, of course, who'd be very pleased if it had all worked out, given his money actually belongs to convicted Israeli arms dealer and father of former owner Arkadi Gaydamak, currently in exile in Russia and with all his assets (except those awarded to Chainrai in a legal action) currently frozen due to his illegal arms dealing. But any suggestions of money laundering are, of course, pure speculation. As is the notion that several million pounds were filtered out of Pompey into offshore accounts via a law firm bank account during January until the whistle was blown and the lawyer resigned from the law firm. And then joined the Pompey board.

Makes Harry Redknapp seem like a decent, law-abiding chap all in all.

Postscript: In Tour De France matters, there's seemingly no room for appeal for Mark Renshaw, although he's going to try (don't hold your breath, these appeals rarely succeed). He's the guy from Columbia HTC that leads out Mark Cavendish for all those stage wins, including today. Thing was, today on the way to the line he blocked one bloke and headbutted another (several times) as part of this lead-out. As a result, he's been thrown out of the entire Tour, which is a kicker for Cavendish's (very poor) hopes of winning the Green Jersey and also for his previously excellent chances of winning 'his' stage on the Champs Elysees a week on Sunday. Tour official Jean-Francois Pescheux said: "This is a bike race, not a gladiator's arena." Great fun watching it though, I'll post a YouTube link when I can find one, but I'm sure it's on the ITV4 website for UK folks and for those in the USA.

Further update: here's the vid from YouTube, provided they don't take it down.
Headbutting to be found at 4:23. video has the Phil'n'Paul commentary, but I don't know how visible that is outside the US. Agree with Phil, it seems remarkably harsh punishment given that normal argie-bargie results in disqualification from the results of the day but not expulsion from the race. The thing is: Renshaw's actions benefitted Cavendish, and you can't punish Cav for what Renshaw did unless you chuck Renshaw out of the race. So that's what they've done. As with many other such decisions in the Tour over the years (eg Cav being denied a stage last year), you do have to wonder if Renshaw would have been expelled had he been French. Hm?


Kevin Sawers said...

Unbelievable, isn't it? Makes what happened to Southampton FC look like a minor accounting hiccough. So maybe we won't have a Saints-Pompey derby for a while yet, with the two teams switching places at the end of this season...

/Counting of chickens waaaaay before they've hatched

Kevin Sawers said...

Off-topic, but are you following the baseball this season? What chance a Braves-Rangers World Series? And did you see that a Rangers player stole home plate the other night against the Red Sox? A very cunning double steal:

Doug said...

that is a sweet piece of base running, its just like watching the orioles...

oh no hold on, nothing like the orioles and their "record breaking" season.

Doug said...

The answer is that if Renshaw was French he'd have got some sort of a medal and the press would be talking about it as evidence that cycling is a "man's sport".

much like when an All Black spear tackles somebody, the typical reaction is something along the lines of "what do you expect, its a man's game"