TRURO CITY FOOTBALL CLUB PRESS ANNOUNCEMENT
I am pleased to announce some important developments for the Football Club.
On the pitch, I am delighted to confirm that the Football Club was elected to the Southern League Premier Division on Saturday 15th June 2013. This is excellent news for the Club and the Community. This is the best possible outcome that we could have achieved following our relegation from the Blue Square Bet Conference South at the end of last season due to our position in the league.
In order to achieve this league status, we had to clear numerous hurdles. Amongst other things, we needed the FA Membership Committees’ approval to the transfer of membership from Truro City Football Club Limited (the company controlled by the former owners of the Club) to the new company, Truro City Football Club 2012 Limited, set up by Philip and me to buy the Club and, we needed the Football Conference to approve and confirm that the CVA, which had been approved by the Club’s creditors on 4th June 2013, was compliant with their Rules.
This result was therefore only achieved after a huge amount of work had been carried out by a number of persons within the Football Club and the Club's professional advisers. In that regard, I would like to give special thanks to Chris Smale and Ian Rennie within the Football Club. Outside of the Club, I would like to thank Dale Band and Rebecca Rollinson from Nalders Solicitors for their continued efforts and advice over a whole range of difficult legal issues that the Club has faced and, Bishop Fleming for their continued accountancy support.
I would also like to thank all of the creditors who supported the Club by assigning their debts under the CVA to Truro City Football Club 2012 Limited. I recognise that many of them had genuine claims for liabilities incurred by the former owners of the club, and they have sacrificed these claims in order to help the Club move forward. Philip and I will not forget this, and I hope that, in many cases, there will be mutually beneficial business to be done by the Club with these creditors in the future. We intend to recognise these creditors in our match day programmes.
I appreciate that many fans would like to know the position with regards to the ground, particularly in relation to what happened to the land under the Club's previous ownership and the current status.
Whilst Philip and I wish to disclose all aspects of what occurred prior to our ownership, we have to be slightly cautious at this point as we are awaiting legal advice with regards to the ground tenure and, in addition, the legal advice that was provided to the Trustees in 2007. However, to provide some background, I understand the following has occurred:
- In 1959, Truro City Sports Club conveyed the football ground at Treyew Road to Truro City Football Club Limited (which is not the same company that was owned by the previous owners);
- On 2 May 1974, prior to the then Truro City Football Club Limited being liquidated, the ground was conveyed to the Football Club's Trustees;
- On 18 November 2004, under the terms of a lease, the Trustees granted a 199 year lease of the Ground to Kevin Heaney which was subject to certain covenants.
- On 19 December 2007, the Trustees entered into a "contract for the sale of freehold land and agreement relating to the land to be acquired" with Kevin Heaney, which led to the ground being transferred from the Trustees to Kevin Heaney.
- On 12 February 2010, there was a transfer of the ground from Kevin Heaney to Cornish Properties Limited.
- On 13 July 2012, the freehold and leasehold interest in the ground was transferred from Cornish Properties Limited to Jojo Investco Limited for £2,280,000. Whilst I am unable to confirm with certainty, I believe that the consideration paid by Jojo Investco Limited was used to repay the monies owed by that company to Lloyds Bank plc, which resulted in their charge over the Ground being discharged.
I understand that there has been speculation that Jojo Investco Limited is a front for the former owners. I do not believe that to be position and, am of the view that the former owners have no continuing interest in the Club whatsoever.
As to the immediate position, I confirm, for the avoidance of doubt, that the Club will be playing at Treyew Road next season. This has been agreed with Helical Bar and Jojo Investco Limited, who have both been supportive in our recent efforts.
Moving forward, Philip’s and my overriding aim is to find a long term solution to the Club’s future, and that includes finding the best possible outcome for where the Club plays in the long term. This may involve some tough negotiations on behalf of the Club, and we all need to be patient, and to recognise that these things take time. To paraphrase an old footballing expression, let us take one season at a time. What I can promise is that, as always, there will be complete transparency about the position, as and when there are any material developments to report.
In the meantime, I hope that, after all the years of turmoil and uncertainty, we can now get back to being a football club with widespread community support, playing at a good level and, I hope enjoying some great football next season, having been fortunate enough to retain rather more of our loyal players than looked likely in recent weeks. We have come a long way in the last few months off the pitch and hopefully there will be real progress on the pitch next season! There is a genuine buzz around the Club which hopefully can be maintained throughout the season.