Friday 30 September 2016

Greyhound board issues legal threat over sponsorship deal

Published 14/06/2015 | 02:30

SPONSORSHIP DEAL: ‘Jackpot’ the greyhound with model Roz Purcell and Russell Warner, CEO of ETS at Shelbourne Park two years ago
SPONSORSHIP DEAL: ‘Jackpot’ the greyhound with model Roz Purcell and Russell Warner, CEO of ETS at Shelbourne Park two years ago

The Irish Greyhound Board (IGB) has threatened legal action against a defunct British finance company after alleging it failed to honour a sponsorship contract for the sport's most prestigious race in Ireland.

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The board claims Enterprise Target Solutions (ETS)did not fully adhere to a €240,000 sponsorship agreement for the Irish Greyhound Derby.

Although a "substantial portion" of the sponsorship money owed by ETS was paid, some has yet to be handed over two years on.

The development is the latest in a series of controversies which has beset the IGB in recent years.

In a statement, the board told the Sunday Independent it would consider issuing legal proceedings if other approaches to recouping the money were unsuccessful.

The IGB terminated its deal with ETS last year, 12 months into a three-year sponsorship agreement which was set to be worth up to €750,000.

However, the circumstances surrounding the collapse of the sponsorship agreement were not disclosed at the time.

The previously unheard-of company was announced as sponsor of the Derby in May 2013, with its chief executive Russell Warner taking part in a photocall with model Roz Purcell at Shelbourne Park.

It outlined plans to enter the Irish market to offer funding to small and medium businesses.

However, ISME, the Small and Medium Enterprises Association, told the Sunday Independent it was unaware of the firm ever trading here.

UK Companies Office records show ETS was only registered as a company a month before the Derby announcement. It never filed accounts and was dissolved by Mr Warner last year.

Efforts by the Sunday Independent to contact Mr Warner at other businesses where he is listed as a director proved unsuccessful.

In a statement, the greyhound board said it had entered the sponsorship agreement after being approached by ETS.

However, it decided to terminate the agreement after a year.

"A substantial portion of the sponsorship monies owed by ETS was paid. Bord na gCon is pursuing the outstanding monies owed and will consider issuing legal proceedings if other approaches are unsuccessful," it said.

The IGB declined to specify exactly what the shortfall in the sponsorship had been or how this was made up.

Sunday Independent

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