Chairman’s response to Sports Shield statement and accounts year ended 30 June 2015

An update from Ken Anderson

I have seen the comments that Dean has made concerning my web notes and whilst I also do not wish to become embroiled in a public debate with him, (as I think that this is best done through our respective lawyers) there are certain elements of his comments that I believe I need to respond to.

This is a shame as like Dean, for the benefit of the club and the supporters, I would have preferred to keep the details of our dispute out of the press, but unfortunately, the filing of the accounts by Deloitte and recent events have made this impossible. 

I do not accept that my comments were 'misleading and without foundation', I merely stated the facts, as I saw them.
In light of my openness to this matter, the accounts for the year ended 30 June 2015 are now available for supporters of the club to look at by CLICKING HERE.

Firstly, as I have learnt to expect from statements and comments from Dean over a period of time, he is very economical with the truth. On numerous occasions from the very outset, back in March 2016, when we both became directors/shareholders, Dean has been requested to personally contribute towards the club's ongoing funding requirements, alongside me.

However, he has always declined to contribute, even when he was full time employed (as the highest paid club employee, outside of players) and actively involved in the day-to-day operations, so fully aware of the club's financial position.

Once again, for the record, unlike Dean, who has taken substantial monies (circa £1.5m) out of the club, one way or the other, I have never taken a salary despite working virtually full time and tirelessly on both club and hotel matters. 

Apart from when I have been away on holiday, I have attended virtually every home and away game this season. The same cannot be said for Dean, who has been conspicuous by his absence at many games and comments have been made by others about this.

Dean and I have discussed the sale of various players since day one. I do accept though that we did not specifically discuss Zach Clough on transfer deadline day. However, how else did he think the club could survive financially and pay the salaries and ongoing running costs, once he had made it absolutely clear that he was not prepared to fund the business alongside me? 

He is more than welcome to contact me whenever he wishes to discuss football, or any other matters, but has chosen not to. Indeed, he has little or no contact with me, the manager or other staff. I have never stopped him talking to any of the staff.

As for his comments about not receiving financial information, this has been provided to him by both Anthony Massey and John Pelling in the past and is still readily available to him, but unfortunately, he has never made himself available to attend board meetings, despite numerous requests. 

Furthermore, once we became suspicious that Dean might be leaking sensitive financial information, we took the decision to only make financial information available to him at the club premises or board meetings and not in emails etc. I am always prepared to meet with Dean on a weekly basis, or monthly at a board meeting to discuss anything if he so wishes.

Dean is and has always been aware of the club's ongoing current and past financial requirements, and was asked to contribute, alongside me again, only last week to help pay the salaries etc. But as is becoming the norm, he failed to respond to emails, (he is very selective in what he does and doesn't respond to) which therefore left me with little or no choice but to reluctantly sell Zach Clough, for the reasons I have previously explained.

Dean is correct in saying that the short term loans that I made to the club have subsequently been repaid, but at least l can say I have continuously advanced interest free, unsecured funds to the club to ensure that salaries etc were paid, whereas, he has declined, or failed to respond, on each and every occasion, that he was requested to assist. 

The substantial monies that I have provided, as and when required, have been referred to in the notes to the accounts that Deloitte have now filed and which are available to download from our website.

Again, for the record, Dean has never put any personal money into the club. He did arrange with Michael Collins, a Sports Shield consultant and an associate of his (now serving a four years and three months prison sentence for mortgage fraud) a £4m loan to the club through his own company Sports Shield repayable in March 2018, but unlike my loans, he secured the loan on behalf of Blu Marble against club assets for £5m plus interest at 24% per annum. 

Like my funds, this loan has to be repaid but at a cost of several million pounds in interest, arrangement and exit fees!

Dean failed to tell us that the loan he had obtained from BluMarble to Sports Shield on or about the 10th March 2016, was repayable (as I now understand and believe) on the 26th March 2016, only 16 days later, but subsequently changed, I now understand and believe to the 24th April 2016, at an interest rate of 30% per annum. This has also been referred to in the notes to the accounts filed by Deloitte, earlier this week.

Dean also failed to tell us at the time, about a subsequent side letter he/Sports Shield had signed with BluMarble.  As it currently stands, Sports Shield have failed to repay the BluMarble loan and are therefore, technically, as I understand it, in default and the club may be called upon in respect of the guarantees Dean/Sports Shield provided. I am disputing the validity and legality of these guarantees. This has been also referred to in the notes to the accounts, filed by Deloitte.

I find it very interesting that Dean should comment about 'prior approval of the board issues', as he personally and solely signed the loan agreement, on behalf of his company Sports Shield and also as a director, on behalf of the club (i.e. he signed solely, on behalf of both parties)  without my prior authorisation, or knowledge of the agreement, with no board meeting having ever taken  place, or anything  being minuted. 

As previously stated, the legality of these documents are disputed by me and will be challenged through the courts.

As the notes to the accounts suggest, there are a number of post balance sheet items which are disputed between the directors and to which I have previously referred to, that will be the subject of future litigation. Unfortunately, until these are resolved, I am unable to comment on them, other than to say that in my opinion, they are not commercially prudent or in the club's best interests.

As regards, Dean's comments about the delays in completing the audit and filing of the accounts, I am happy to say that he is mainly to blame for this.


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