Tuesday 23 January 2018

Wexford Youths faces closure over €200,000 debt to Mick Wallace

Bankrupt: Mick Wallace. Photo: Tom Burke
Bankrupt: Mick Wallace. Photo: Tom Burke

Ian Begley

An official from Wexford Youths Football club was surprised to discover his club is facing a €200,000 debt, allegedly owed to bankrupt TD Mick Wallace.

The Wexford-based football club, founded by Wallace, owes a sum of €206,884 to M&J Wallace, a construction company currently in receivership and liquidation.

The reason why the football club was put into liquidation follows the collapse of a rescue attempt which would have involved a staggered part-payment of the debt to Wallace's company.

A number of club officials were said to have been made aware of the liquidation last Thursday and are understood to be in talks with the FAI in an attempt to save it.

However, according to Dermot Warren, Youth Development Officer of Wexford Youths he was not made aware of the news until yesterday, but says he is confident that the club won't collapse.

"I don't think many people in the community and club are aware of this to be honest," he told the Irish Independent.

"I only know of it through the newspapers, it came as a bit of a surprise to me.

"I think the club has a future and I don't think that there will be anything really to worry about in the long run. I'm sure it'll be sorted out.

"Many people dedicate their free time to ensure that this club is run to its best ability. I wouldn't have a clue about the €200,000 owed. I'm there for football and football only," he added.

Enniscorthy councillor Barbara-Anne Murphy said she is unaware of the club's debt.

She said that she feels the news wouldn't be too well known within the community yet.

The club's liquidation, however, will not affect the club's home ground in Ferrycarrig Park since it was bought from the receivers by Wexford Football League and the FAI in 2015.

In an unpublished report by M&J Wallace's liquidator Micheal Leydon of Outlook Accountants, an offer of €10,000 payable over five years was made last year by an unidentified party to buy the club's shares.

However, no offer was made to repay any debt.

Leydon stated that he made a counter-proposal seeking repayment of €77,800 of the debt, but, at the time of writing the report in autumn 2016, he had not received a response "despite numerous subsequent calls and emails".

The liquidator also said the club made no repayments to M&J Wallace but in the "absence of an offer and given the poor league performance this year, liquidation may be inevitable".

In Wexford Youths FC's most recent financial statement, it had current assets of €32,813 in November 2015 and debts of €275,658.

It logged €181,884 owing on an interest-free loan from M&J Wallace, and an additional €25,000 due in trade credit.

Attempts were made to contact Mick Wallace, but he did not reply at the time of going to press.

Irish Independent

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