I have seen the statement released by the players today. While it is riddled with factual inaccuracies, their position is understandable and one with which I have a great deal of sympathy. The fact they have not been paid would appear to have had a major impact on their collective mindset.
The ongoing situation has been continuously explained to them by Phil Parkinson. My team and I have been in dialogue with him since the first day of the Administration. We have also spoken to various agents, the PFA and the LMA to keep them apprised of the situation.
As football creditors, Phil, his staff and the players will get paid in full once the deal has been completed. This is in contrast to other creditors, who will receive nothing approaching that level of compensation.
Yes, the players have had to suffer hardship in terms of limited training facilities but decisions had to be taken in terms of finances and the need to prioritise payment of club staff was an overriding factor.
And, with the greatest respect to the players, they do not have a full understanding or appreciation of the club’s ongoing financial position. I am working within a budget to keep this club alive until a sale is completed.
However, the fact is I share many of the same frustrations as the players, the staff and all the fans who have shown incredible resilience and patience throughout this process.
We have reached a stage in the deal to sell the club to Football Ventures and are working tirelessly to complete the transaction.
It has been a complex process and one which has taken longer than I would have preferred considering the new season starts in just over two weeks. Now it is time for all parties to recognise the necessity for swift action and decisions to safeguard the future of the club.
Hopefully, supporters will be reassured by the fact plans for player recruitment, season ticket and match day prices are all in place, and will be activated immediately once a deal has been completed.
But one outstanding element of the deal, which is not under my control, is the sale of Whites Hotel.
Football Ventures' ownership model, one supported by the EFL, is based on a deal for both the club and hotel, so I would encourage all parties involved to act swiftly to ensure the pressing timeframe for completion is met.
I would implore everybody to drive through this deal and ensure this great football club is restored to its rightful position.