Scottish side Dunfermline to go into administration
Published 26/03/2013 | 15:11
DUNFERMLINE are applying to go into voluntary administration.
Director of football Jim Leishman revealed some fans had put up money to appoint an administrator in a bid to avoid liquidation.
The Irn-Bru First Division club had been presented with a winding-up order over a £134,000 tax bill, which was due to be paid today.
After talking to playing and coaching staff along with representatives of players union PFA Scotland, Leishman said: "There is a group of Dunfermline Athletic supporters who have underwritten the administrator's fees, which is great.
"So we are back in the game.
"It was either liquidation where you are done and dusted, and you have nothing. But we are giving it a chance.
"We will be speaking to the administrator, if that gets the go ahead we will be speaking to him."
Dunfermline have approached Bryan Jackson of PKF to conduct the administration process, but the appointment will need to be approved at the Court of Session in conjunction with Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs.
Jackson's previous tasks have included similar roles at Clyde, Clydebank, Motherwell, Dundee and Portsmouth.
PFA Scotland chief executive Fraser Wishart welcomed the move as it averted the "calamitous" prospect of liquidation, for the time being at least.
Wishart added: "At least there is some kind of clarity to the situation and we welcome that.
"I'm pleased it's Bryan Jackson, somebody I have worked with many times before and who knows the football game inside out.
"We will be looking to have a meeting with Bryan Jackson in early course to work out a good course of action that will hopefully protect all our players' jobs."
Dunfermline manager Jim Jefferies, whose side are due to host Falkirk in a derby match tomorrow night, could face losing players but compulsory redundancies were avoided after Rangers went into administration last year as players agreed a wage-cut deal.
Wishart said: "One of the good things we have is football regulations and the Scottish Football League has been very strong in the past in supporting players who are made redundant in terms of football debt.
"I'm sure the players will welcome that support.
"There is more than one way of dealing with a potential drop in income and a potential drop in outgoings that the club has to get to."
Dunfermline also face disciplinary action from the SFL, who are awaiting information from the club and potential administrators.
There is no set punishment for a club going into administration. Dundee were docked 25 points when they fell into administration in October 2010, while Gretna and Livingston were both demoted two divisions during the close season.
Jefferies was grateful for Wishart's advice.
The former Bradford and Hearts manager said: "Fraser Wishart has come down to see the players on behalf of the PFA and just explained what administration means for the players and the staff, because it's the first time I have been in administration even though I have been at clubs that have been threatened by it a few times, but never really got to this stage.
"We learned a few things in there, what can happen. The good news for the players, the boy that has been appointed, Bryan Jackson, has worked with other football clubs and players, so Fraser has got a good working relationship with us.
"It has been pointed out to us that Bryan takes on a commitment to get the rest of the debt frozen and then he has to go to the Court of Session and try to work out a deal with HMRC. There is still a danger we can go into liquidation.
"But I'm sure there will be other people working with the administrator to make sure that doesn't happen."
The club are believed to have other creditors while players and staff were only paid a fraction of their wages last month.
But most of the circa-£8.5million debt associated with the club is owed to majority shareholder Gavin Masterton and other directors.
Meanwhile, the steering group which was set up to try to find a solution to the club's cash-flow crisis revealed fans had helped pay some of the salary debt.
A statement on the club's official website read: "Jim Leishman, Bob Garmory and Stephen Taylor would like to confirm that over £9,000 was collected at the Raith Rovers, Dumbarton and Under-20s games and this has been distributed directly to all DAFC staff and players.
"Everyone would once again like to thank all of its fans and supporters for their generosity at these games, the support of the fans has been greatly appreciated."
PKF later confirmed that moves were under way to enter the club into administration.
A statement read: "The directors of Dunfermline FC have today decided that their only option is to place the club into administration.
"The administration appointment is expected to take effect within the next couple of days and the directors have approached Bryan Jackson, of accountants PKF, to consider being appointed administrator.
"The directors have taken this decision with considerable regret but believe that they have no other choice in the current circumstances.
"Until the administration is effective all staff will remain in post and the club will continue to operate normally."