Dunfermline Athletic

Jackson hopeful for success

Wednesday, 19th Jun 2013

Based on previous administration success with other Scottish clubs 50.1 chance of a positive outcome.

East End Park

BDO Administrator, Bryan Jackson gave his thoughts after a meeting of the Club's creditors at East End Park.

"The state of play is that two offers did come in yesterday which in itself was good, what wasn't so good, although expected, was that neither of them were in a condition that we could accept them.

"That is per normal. People think that you get offers in and "Oh we'll take that one that's the preferred bidder".That doesn't happen because obviously someone offering puts in their own conditions. Some of them that we can accept, some of them we can't.  Some we can't accept are actually because we won't be able to fulfil what they want.

"We need to sit down and talk about those ones that can be a problem, ones called deal breakers which we are trying to get rid off, complicated by the fact that there are two separate offers for the property and there are two separate offers to us for the shareholding.  You have got to end up with someone who has both, so the other Administrator has got to be happy and so do we.  We obviously want the same person offering, so I suppose that is the added complication.

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"The positive is that the process is underway, which is good. The proposal to go into CVA was passed today, there was only one small objection that had been posted in, but the people at the meeting voted for it, and I wouldn't have expected anything other than that because otherwise you would be voting to close down the place.  As expected, in some respects, the meeting itself was a damp squib but it was something that we had to go through, but it has passed which is good and we are now on a timetable for a CVA meeting on 12th July.

"That gives us a couple of weeks to talk to both parties who have made offers to try and get to the preferred bidder status.  So come the 12th July we have a proposal for the creditors, then it will be up to the creditors to look at that proposal and vote on it and we need 75% of the value.  What has now transpired because of a roll up of unpaid rent over a number of years is that it is likely that East End Park Ltd in administration is a huge creditor. So they will have quite a bit of influence on that going forward in terms of voting.  It is unlikely that any offer being made is going to be very much to creditors so I think it is going to be down to goodwill.  Again, you either vote for something, whatever it might be whether it is 1p in the £ or 4 or 5p or you vote to shut the Club. Your voting against doesn't actually achieve anything for anybody, but sometimes people do."

Those voting against are unlikely to have a 75% value, but Jackson felt they will have a fairly large claim:-

"There are quite a few other large creditors, but they are all associated in some way I think with the Club, most of them are supporters, so you would expect them to support a reasonable proposal."

The two bidders are Pars United and an unnamed bidder and Bryan Jackson felt it would be much easier if he could name the other bidder, but  couldn't:-

"The name did not mean anything to me, I don't know if it would to other people.  I know it is not satisfactory but we have to honour this, even their solicitor said that it has to remain confidential."

Bryan Jackson confirmed that there were no other bids in for the stadium, other than the two that had been received.

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Asked if there were major difficulties with both bids, he said:-

"There are one or two conditions that are major in that I won't be able to accept. It's like assurances on certain things that are impossible for me to be able to do by that time, if at all.  So from the point of view of someone offering maybe say well we just can't take that risk if you won't give us that assurance.  You will get to a stage where the other side either take it on with the warts or they don't.

"I understand why people put on conditions, they are trying to protect what they are going to have to take on and mitigate any cost and everything else.  I said in the meeting that the first year is very difficult cash flow wise but this is a distressed situation, you can't get everything you want, it is impossible.  You can't get it clean with nothing and no problems.  We are trying to minimise those problems. 

"Most of the debt will be written off and you will be left with a small amount of debt, and yes they may have a problem here and there but we can't eliminate everything by that date, it is impossible.  What we need to convince people offering is you need to take that leap of faith.  That's what it will come down to.  They are quite sticky but you would think that we would get there somehow and find a way through them."

Brian Jackson confirmed that there was still a lot of work to be done.

"It is back down to what I have always said, it is not really with me its with well you have the money - will you take it on the way it is?  We can only deliver so much."

Asked if the situation was still 50/50 Brian Jackson said that since they had some success with the other four Scottish Clubs they had done, he felt slightly more optimistic in that it could be 50.1.

"The problem for me saying is it better than 50/50, is that I don't really know because it is in other peoples hands.  If someone comes along with a pot of gold and handed that pot of gold to me now, I would say that I was really optimistic.  I have a pot of gold and I have seen evidence of it, but that has not happened yet.  That is why it is difficult for me to be overly optimistic about it because there is too much outwith my control.

"In fact probably the only reason that I have a degree of optimism is that we are on track with what we are doing, we do have interested parties.  We have the obvious one, Pars United and we know their intentions are good, so that gives you a bit of confidence and the fact that we somehow got there in the end with other difficult ones makes me think that surely we can get there.  On paper there is a lot to do so I will leave it at 50.1."


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