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I'm not moving into residence -- club king Robbie

Nightclub legend Robbie Fox has denied that he is to take over management of the exclusive St Stephen's Green club Residence.

"No, that was just people putting two and two together and getting six. Johnny Ronan owns the building and he is a pal of mine but it's not true," he told the Herald.

"I have my own project coming up and I hope to get that off the ground in about March."

A regular haunt of Ireland's elite, there was huge shock when it was revealed that the VIP club's company now faces debts of well over €1m.

Yet former Renards owner Fox, has stated that there is still some hope that Simon and Christian Stokes will get the company back on its feet.

Earlier this week, the High Court heard during the application for examinership how a potential investor had been found, who was identified in writing.

"I have heard what happened but those guys have gone into examinership and are just getting protection from their creditors -- they haven't gone into receivership," said Mr Fox.

"It's just a sign of how bad things have become, people are not spending what they used to and it worries me for the future of this business. This is a club that was conceived in the boom and has had to operate in the downturn.

"People have got used to staying at home and buying drink in off-licences instead of going into town. It's tough for everybody but I'm pretty sure they'll survive this. I presume these guys have a plan but it's not as bad as it looks."

Strictly

He declined to comment on whether its owners could have taken steps to avert reaching crisis point, such as opening part of the club up to the general public and keeping upstairs strictly for members.

"I don't think they could have done that. They tried very hard to keep it strictly as a members' club and I'm not going to get into where they could have done things better. I'd wish them all the best in the future," he continued.

His comments were echoed by Robert Scanlon, general manager of Residence. "We're literally just going through financial restructuring, it's a difficult time economically for everyone," he told the Herald.

"The club itself is still open as normal and there's been no change to opening hours. We're open now and we look forward to welcoming our members as normal. We don't foresee any change in this in the future." Opening in May 2008 following a €3.4m refurbishment of its four-floors, it employs 58 staff to cater to its 1,450 members, who are made up of many of RTE's biggest names as well as movie stars like Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Victoria Smurfit.

The High Court heard how the company, trading under the name of Missford Ltd, owed about €1.2m to the Revenue Commissioners. Having received a payment of about €37,000 on December 17 2009, it had taken over the company's bank account which then contained €87,000.

It had also loaned €616,000 to related companies Mayfair Properties Ltd, which trades as Bang Cafe, and Auldcarn Ltd. Both were unable to repay the loan and were in the course of being liquidated.


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