Sheffield Wednesday fans forum overview

29 September 2010 11:16
Nick Parker addresses the fans at Hillsborough Sheffield Wednesday Chief Executive Nick Parker took to the stage at Hillsborough tonight alongside Chief Operating officer Carol Axe to face questions from the floor regarding off field matters at SWFC. The evening began with Parker stating that neither matters of the past nor specific football related issues would be discussed. The fact that on field events would not be taken into account was understandable given the members of the panel but it was disappointing to hear that previous off field events would not be discussed as these are matters that have obviously affected the position that the club currently finds itself in. The major news coming from the forum was that the club is likely to be dragged through the courts once more as a result of an outstanding HMRC bill. Mr. Parker revealed that the decision not to pay the taxman his dues to date is one that has been taken by the bank despite protestations by Parker and Howard Wilkinson due to the obvious negative publicity that this will create. It appears that the bank currently have a major say in controlling the club as they have control over what payments are being made. The priority is currently to pay players and staff and to date all such payments have been made in full and on time. It came to light that three parties are currently in negotiations regarding making significant investment in the club, one of which involves an overseas oil service company. Nick Parker stated that he has not had any discussions with Chris Turner in the past month and does not know whether the former Owls goalkeeper and manager is connected to such a deal. Another potential investor, though yet to prove that they have the necessary £10M to take control of the club, have suggested that they are willing to pay the £600,000 debt to HMRC. The chief executive also revealed that one potential investor had previously been granted a 45-day exclusivity deal. It was said that this group was proven to have funds of a proportion not seen in English football since the Roman Abramovich Chelsea deal but ultimately nothing came to fruition. Whilst it could not be guaranteed that the threat of administration would be seen off., Parker stated that the club would become cash generative from December due to the payment of various outstanding matters and so it would not make financial sense for the bank to leave the club in such a position given this fact. When pressed Nick Parker highlighted some of the work that the three boardroom members that have been questioned by the fans of late have done and stated that he would not give them a vote of no confidence as things stand. He also stated that the day to day running and dealings with the club are controlled by himself, Howard Wilkinson and the bank and whilst other board members and loan note holders have little input they are not standing in the way of any prospective investment. Whilst it was evident that some of the past issues that have caused SWFC to end up in the position that they currently find themselves were clearly sidestepped credit has to be given to Nick Parker for fronting this debate and fielding the questions of the supporters that took the time to attend.     


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