Last week, 27th November, Companies House issued a notice that Salford Football Club Company (1914) Ltd will be struck off and dissolved within three months, "unless cause is shown to the contrary".
The Company was due to submit its accounts to Companies House by 31st August this year but has so far refused to do so. Indeed, it's almost two years since the Company submitted any accounts.
Salford Football Club Company (1914) Ltd is the company to which Salford City Council gave a £1million loan in April 2011. Documents submitted to Companies House in relation to that loan show that the only security put up by the actual company was a `Letter of Pledge' signing over six Harold Riley paintings to the Council.
According to the loan contract obtained by Salford Star, the other security was a `third party legal charge' on publicly unspecified property owned by Godliman Watson Homes and personal guarantees from publicly unspecified people, who we understand are club directors.
The Salford Reds company now has less than three months to produce its accounts or be dissolved. It also faces a Winding Up Petition on January 7th, brought by ex players and HM Revenue and Customs for in the region of £100,000 (see here).
As Salford Council prepares to provide another loan facility of £750,000 for the rugby club, confusion reigns over how many loans Salford City Reds have actually been given by Salford Council in the past.
Conservative councillor and opposition leader, Karen Garrido, claims that loans totalling £2.2million have been given to the club, as opposed to the £1.35million that Salford Star has proved.
Even over part of the £1.35million loans something doesn't appear right. In answer to a Salford Star question, the then Salford City Council Leader, John Merry confirmed that in 2009 the Council had given the Reds a £350,000 loan…
"We're committed to ensuring the club sees its way into 2012 at its new stadium, and last year we provided a loan of £350,000 to them to help do this"
he said (see here).
However in answer to a Freedom of Information request in December 2009 as to how many loans the Council had given out, it replied that it had only given out loans for £240,000 to "sports and leisure organisations" (see here). A £110,00 difference...
With the Council poised to offer another huge loan of public money to the Salford Reds, and with an apparent lack of transparency over past financial dealings with the rugby club, calls are growing for an open inquiry. The Salford Star has written to the District Auditor – or `Engagement Lead' as he's now called – to investigate, and is awaiting a response.
Meanwhile, Salford City Reds has until January 7th to stop the Winding Up Petition, and until the end of February 2013 to produce its accounts or Companies House is set to dissolve the company.
Since this article appeared on the Salford Star website this morning, Salford Football Club Company (1914) Ltd has now, incredibly, produced the accounts for Companies House, and the `Strike Off' has been, er, struck off.
Great to know that the Salford Reds directors read the Salford Star! Perhaps they would now like to tell us how much money they've had from Salford Council over the last few years?
UPDATE: 7TH DECEMBER - SALFORD COUNCIL LOANS REVEALED - click here
See also previous Salford Star article - Salford Council To Bail Out Salford Reds - click here