TRANSFER AMBITIONS ROCKED BY HYMAS/SAUNDERS LEGAL
Club Statement, Wed 15 January 2014 5am
mansfieldtown.net, 15th January 2014
Statement from Mansfield Town Football Club
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/club-statement-15-january-2014-1293950.aspx?#Z45dqppbFckcywWR.99
Mansfield Town Football Club were saddened to receive legal proceedings from Andrew Saunders and Steve Hymas on Christmas Eve.
The Club is disappointed that two of its former shareholders and directors have commenced legal proceedings against it seeking to recover just short of £989,441.94. The claim arises from monies which Mr Steve Hymas and Mr Andrew Saunders lent to the Club during their period of ownership.
The Club does not deny that the loans were made nor that they remain a liability of the Club. However, as both the Club and its lawyers have made clear to Mr Hymas and Mr Saunders, the loans do not have a specific redemption date and are only repayable when both the Club and Mr Radford, the club's chairman, agree that it is in a position to do so. Sadly, the Club is not in a position to make any such repayment and therefore the monies are not repayable at this time.
It is disappointing that the actions of Mr Hymas and Mr Saunders will involve further significant legal expenditure by the Club in defending the unmeritorious proceedings they have commenced. Not only will that mean that monies which would otherwise be available to the Club will be utilised and further delay getting the Club on a financial even keel, but it may sadly mean that monies which could otherwise be used to strengthen the Club's financial position may not be available. The Board are also reviewing the effect this will have on its January spending plans.
The proceedings were commenced on 18 December 2013 and were received by the Club on Christmas Eve. The Club did not receive any advance warning that the proceedings were to be issued and the timing of them was a surprise. The proceedings were undoubtedly served at this time to cause maximum disruption to the Club over the Christmas period. The Club is saddened that its former shareholders and directors have adopted such tactics against the Club.
The Club, its owner and its board will defend the claim robustly but as noted above is disappointed that the Club's funds will be depleted on defending a claim in circumstances where it is not disputed that the Club has a liability but is simply not in a position to make repayment of those or any other director's loans at this time.
Stags’ transfer ambitions rocked by new legal action
chad.co.uk, Wed 15 January 2014 6am
Mansfield Town’s January transfer ambitions could be rocked by a new legal action from former directors Steve Hymas and Andrew Saunders, demanding repayment of almost £1m of loans.
The club were shocked to get the solicitors’ letter on Christmas Eve and will contest the claim as Stags chairman John Radford said the agreement was that the monies would only be repayable when the club was in a position to do so.
Radford said: “Can I have my money back too? I am still putting money in and we are losing between £60k and £100k a month. We are not in profit.
“This could make a big difference what we can spend on players in January as we will now have to pay out for legal fees defending this claim.”
Hymas and Saunders are planning to release a statement of the own by the end of the week - see http://www.chad.co.uk.
The club statement released today read: “Mansfield Town are saddened to receive legal proceedings from Andrew Saunders and Steve Hymas on Christmas Eve.
“Mansfield Town Football Club is disappointed that two of its former shareholders and directors have commenced legal proceedings against it, seeking to recover £989,441.94.
“The claim arises from monies which Mr Steve Hymas and Mr Andrew Saunders lent to the club during their period of ownership.
“The club does not deny that the loans were made, nor that they remain a liability of the club. “However, as both the club and its lawyers have made clear to Mr Hymas and Mr Saunders, the loans do not have a specific redemption date and are only repayable when both the club and Mr Radford agree that it is in a position to do so.
“Sadly, the club is not in a position to make any such repayment and therefore the monies are not repayable at this time.
“It is disappointing that the actions of Mr Hymas and Mr Saunders will involve further significant legal expenditure by the club in defending the unmeritorious proceedings they have commenced. “Not only will that mean that monies which would otherwise be available to the club will be utilised and further delay getting the club on a financial even keel, but it may sadly mean that monies which could otherwise be used to strengthen the club’s financial position may not be available.
“The board are also reviewing the effect this will have on its January spending plans.”
It went on: “The proceedings were commenced on 18th December 2013 and were received by the club on Christmas Eve.
“The club did not receive any advance warning that the proceedings were to be issued and the timing of them was a surprise to the club.
“The proceedings were undoubtedly served at this time to cause maximum disruption to the club over the Christmas period.
“The club is saddened that its former shareholders and directors have adopted such tactics against the club.
“The club, its owner and its board will defend the claim robustly, but as noted above is disappointed that the club’s funds will be depleted on defending a claim in circumstances where it is not disputed that the club has a liability but is simply not in a position to make repayment of those or any other director’s loans at this time.”
Hymas and Saunders hit back at Mansfield Town in cash row
chad.co.uk, Wed 15 January 2014 14:43
Former Mansfield Town directors Steve Hymas and Andy Saunders have hit back at claims by Stags chairman John Radford that the club is not in a position to repay their loans totalling almost £1m.
The pair have said they are more than willing to negotiate and say that any potential financial damage to the club that Radford has said it faces due to their legal action would be down purely to him not negotiating with them for a better solution.
They claim the loans they put into the club during their time in charge are now repayable due to new funds the club received from promotion back into the Football League this summer.
Hymas and Saunders this afternoon issued a statement in response to the one issued by the club this morning, stating: “We refute the claims made in the MTFC statement.
“We have in fact refrained from taking legal action for some six months while trying to negotiate an arrangement with Mr Radford for repayment of the loans, which became repayable once the club gained promotion and found themselves in better financial circumstances as indeed they are now, benefiting from the funds from the Football League.
“As lifelong fans of the club we have never sought to damage it in any way, and in truth we have only ever supported it spiritually and financially, eventually becoming its involuntary bankers.
Mr Radford has disadvantaged us by selling and transferring our shares out of Yellows 08 into Amber 12.
“He has further sought only to delay repayment of any part of the loans, in spite of holding private meetings with us with the express purpose of trying to come to a repayment arrangement.
“We have never wanted to involve the club in any protracted and costly legal proceedings, but have no option but to do so due to Mr Radford’s intransigence.
“The tone of the club’s press release clearly indicates a preference for litigation over negotiation, and the laboured expression of potential damage to club finances in the statement lays entirely at the feet of Mr Radford and those members of the board supporting his stance.
“The club, for whatever reason, is planning to spend a substantial amount on legal fees that could form part of a repayment deal, and stop any legal proceedings.
“There is no claim for the club to defend robustly, the figures are a matter of record, and are clearly shown in the club’s own audited accounts.”
It went on: “We believe the threat to the club’s finances referred to in the statement is disingenuous and unnecessary as we have never previously demanded a full repayment other than by a negotiated arrangement, which could be scheduled in such a way that it would have the minimum impact on the club’s finances and its ability to move forward.
“This of course requires a meeting of all parties, which we are willing to attend, and a firm commitment by the club to come to an agreeable reasonable resolution, which will not be unreasonably refused.
“It is most unfortunate that Mr Radford has seen fit to risk the club’s finances by his attempt to avoid dealing with the simple matter of a repayment plan for a liability that is openly admitted by the club.”
Cox backing chairman as Stags loans row intensified
chad.co.uk, 16/01/2014 13:01
Stags manager Paul Cox today offered his full backing to chairman John Radford over the war of words between Radford and former club owners Andy Saunders and Steve Hymas, who claim their loans of £1m to the club are now due for repayment
The argument, which is splitting fans on social media and fans’ web sites, centres over the wording of the agreement between the two parties.
Saunders and Hymas claim the monies were due on promotion back to the Football League.
Radford maintains the money is only repayable when the club is in a position to do so and he said it is currently losing £60,000 to £100,000 a month which he is having to subsidise.
Chad has been shown the legal document signed by all three parties and the relevant paragraph (pictured above) states:
“The loans referred to above shall be non-interest bearing and have no specified date for redemption. The Buyer, the Sellers and (the Defendant) will negotiate in good faith to repay such loans as soon as (the Defendant) can reasonably be expected to make such repayment and it is intended that such loans shall be repaid on or before the date upon which Mansfield Town Football Club are promoted to the Football League provided that this is reasonably possible.”
Radford has already said the cost of legal action in defending the claim could impact on Paul Cox’s January transfer budget.
But Cox said: “I keep in touch with the chairman and I kind of feel for him as it’s one thing after another.
“But as a manager I have to keep my head down and not let it affect me or the players.
“Politics in football will always be there, we are no different from any other club. I know the chairman will do what he feels is best for this football club as he always does and me and the players will back him 100 per cent.
“He is the main man and, without him, there would be no football club. That’s what people have to understand.”
Mansfield Town: Stags hit by legal threat
Mansfield Town say the threat of legal action against them by ex-shareholders and directors Andy Saunders and Steve Hymas could affect their ability to sign players in January.
The pair are owed almost £1m in loans from their period of ownership.
The club have said they are not in a position to repay the loans, which they say do not have a set redemption date.
A statement said defending the action means the board must review the "effect it will have on January spending".
The Stags do not deny they owe £989,441.94.
But the statement added: "It is disappointing that the actions will involve further significant legal expenditure by the club in defending the unmeritorious proceedings they have commenced.
"It may sadly mean that monies which could otherwise be used to strengthen the club's financial position may not be available.
"The loans are only repayable when both the club and Mr [John] Radford, the club's chairman, agree that it is in a position to do so.
"The club, its owner and its board will defend the claim robustly."
Stags Fans United comment, on Stagsnet messageboard, Wed Jan 15, 2014 1:51 pm
Stags Fans United made a statement when Andy and Steve resigned which was as follows:
"This dispute is essentially a private and confidential matter for the directors concerned. Stags Fans United would like to see all parties resolve their differences and agree a way forward in the best interests of the football club."
We set up a meeting between the parties after the SFU's AGM in June and negotiations seemed to be going well. We would urge John, Andy and Steve to meet up again and try and agree a way forward. There must be a deal to be done which will benefit all parties and the football club.
Darren, Stags Fans United
facebook (after the statement on mansfieldtown.net)
Putting a spin on the predicament with the manager and inept performances on the field spring to mind.!! How the club had no advanced warning when it was in the chad, on the CEOs facebook months ago and we have met JR on several occasions recently ???.Come off it JR,you know well we just want to put arrangements in place to reduce this debt.Thats business im afraid and im sure in the insurance business you may have had a claim before !!! Move the heat on to us you may have done but the primary problem is on the field and there is no hiding from that !
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