30 August 2012

Former football club chairman made bankrupt

Source: This is Cornwall LINK

THE MAVERICK businessman who brought unprecedented success to Truro's football club has been made bankrupt at the hands of his former solicitors.

Kevin Heaney stood down as chairman of Truro City Football Club (TCFC) as he was declared bankrupt at Truro County Court on Friday.

The property developer who led the club to a record five promotions in six seasons and victory in the FA Vase at Wembley previously featured on the Sunday Times Rich List.

But in recent months lawyers representing TCFC have repeatedly appeared in London's High Court over claims for outstanding taxes from Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

In June Mr Heaney disputed a £645,000 High Court claim against the club from Threemilestone-based legal firm Follett Stock.

It is thought the claim may stem from an agreement in June 2009 whereby Tiger Commercial (Truro) Ltd was licensed to use the Truro City name and 3,500-capacity ground at Treyew Road.

Chris Lingard, managing partner at Follett Stock, is a director of Tiger Commercial (Truro) Ltd and previously represented Mr Heaney.

A spokesman for the Official Receiver confirmed Follett Stock LLP was the petitioner in the bankruptcy hearing.

Mr Heaney would have been presented with a petition for bankruptcy on August 1 and given 23 days to contest it.

He will now have to explain the causes for his bankruptcy to the Official Receiver in Plymouth. At that meeting he must also list all creditors that he is aware of.

As revealed by the West Briton, the club and the ground was sold last month to Jojo Investco Ltd for £2.28 million.

A covenant is believed to require a suitable space be provided for the club to continue if the ground is developed.

Mr Heaney has not been available for comment for several weeks. A statement cited "illness" as his reason for resigning as chairman.

Mr Lingard, a spectator at Treyew Road on Saturday, said: "Speaking both personally and for Follett Stock, I would happily agree to write off sums due from the club itself if that could be brought about.

"I also believe a group of businesspeople might be prepared to pledge an amount of money each year to help meet the running costs with the balance being met by sponsorship and the gate receipts.

"In that way stability could be achieved and the continuous lurch from one crisis to another avoided."

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