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Chronological Financial News pre-2000

02/12/99 Chairman Tracey Newport tells supporters "debts are close to zero" after claiming to have wiped £250,000 off the clubs debts. £140,000 of this is director's loans which have been written off, with some of the remainder the club's overdraft which has now been cleared.

16/11/99 Rob Thomas has written off his £47,000 loan to the club and has sold back his 32,000 shares for £18,000, ending the former chairman's involvement with the club. As part of the deal Colin Gardner's £8,000 loan is also cancelled. The board have previously pledged this move would mean other director's writing off their loans, leading to a total of £140,000.

12/11/99 Local businessman Richard Bull joins the board to replace Dave Phillips as football director. The appointment offers hope to supporters as he is known to be have been friendly with Rob Thomas and Brian Hughes. 

23/10/99 Hughes thanks supporters for helping with his player's wages with continued cash donations. He has received over £1,000 in total from fans this week.

21/10/99 Terrace demonstrations against the current board followed tonight's announcement that the Supporter's Club had formally withdrawn their support for the current administration, citing lack of information and mounting belief the board do not have the best interests of the club at heart. The statement urged directors to sell to Colin Gardner. A poll of fans revealed 98% wanted the board to accept the former director's offer. The demo gets front page coverage in The Citizen.

15/10/99 Former City chairman Rob Thomas is angered by an apparent snub by the current board to his offer to wipe out his company's loan to the club and to also sell his shares. The offer has been on the table for over a fortnight. Thomas's comments come as current Chairman Tracey Newport appeals in The Citizen for Thomas to write off his loan.

12/10/99 Tracey Newport cancels a meeting with supporter's representatives at forty minutes notice. Manager Brian Hughes is threatened with the sack following a meeting with supporters. He is not to discuss finances with the supporters or to accept money or donations from them. However Hughes is still responsible for funding his playing squad.

8/10/99 The offer of a £260,000 loan from former director Colin Gardener lapses after a month on the table. The loan would have been secured on Meadow Park but would have made the debts more easily managed and removed the urgency of payments to the Inland Revenue and City Council. Newport appeals to Colin Gardiner to write off the £8,000 he loaned to avoid the club being wound-up by Dave Phillips. 

6/10/99 - Injured City midfielder Nathan Wigg appeals for the club to pay his wages as he has been unable to work as normal since he broke his leg in his third game for the club back in August. Wigg has not received either his wage or his promised signing on fee, and unlike other players has not been able to either play or find another club. Wigg is threatening to take the club to an FA tribunal despite the boards claims all contracts are null and void. Darren Keeling is in a similar position as he cannot play until an operation which the club will not fund, leaving him stuck on an NHS waiting list.

23/9/99 Former Chairman Rob Thomas writes a letter to shareholders in response to the letter from Chris Hill. He points out that there were audited accounts to June '98 available to the new board, with those up to June '99 not yet available due to the time taken by the auditing process. Thomas also denies the new board did not know of Mike Bullingham's £800 plus unpaid wages, he states they received written confirmation on August 16th. Thomas states that far from being a 'new' debt the historic Bass debt of £6,000 had been included in audited accounts, and was dormant with the club having good reason to believe it may be written off. 

18/9/99 The latest  shareholders letter from the board via Chris Hill estimates City's debts at around £500,000. It states a Bass historic debt of £16,947 and a debt of £3,173 to Mike Bullingham in unpaid wages.  There is also a debt of £890 for the club ties, and a loan for £8,380 the club is "being pressed to pay". Expenditure at the club is still in excess of income, and the debts are higher than the value of the stadium.
Hill goes on to state the board are looking at options including insolvency. However the preferred option is to offer the trade creditors and directors owed return of their loan on 20p per £1 basis, reducing a debt of £200,000 to £40,000, leaving the remaining debts of mortgage and unpaid tax to work on. 

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14/9/99 Newport threatens that unless Thomas and Gardner write off their loans City could be wound-up. Gardner has responded angrily stating that he will not talk to Newport until he receives a response to his offer to the club that the board has not had "the common decency" to respond to. Thomas states writing off his debt would rely on him either receiving 43,2000 shares or the board taking up Colin Gardner's offer.

11/9/99 Tracey Newport appeals for former directors Colin Gardner and Rob Thomas to write off their loans to the club, stating that with this done other directors will copy them, wiping £140,000 from the club's debts. He is quoted as saying the club's total "current deficit is in excess of £200,000". The wage cut is blamed on "poor results, low gate attendance and the lack of immediate financial backing for the club". 

8/9/99 Tracey Newport tells Brian Hughes the board has decided to slash the player's wage bill from £3,500 to £2,000 a week. The decision comes just three weeks into the season and only weeks after Hughes was told by the same board to go ahead in the search for three additional players. Contract players will be allowed to leave or face a substantial pay cut. Hughes is angry assurances he gave to players in good faith are not being honoured by the board. 
Dramatic scenes followed the defeat at Clevedon as directors were confronted by furious supporters outside the club house. Directors failed to explain the situation and several became abusive towards fans. Newport stated to the local paper that the cuts were due to gates at Meadow Park falling below a break-even figure of 800, the board blaming disappointing results for low crowds.

2/9/99 Former Chairman Rob Thomas re-iterates the club's debts at the point of his resignation in a letter to shareholders. They are stated as:
£100,000 non-interest bearing debenture to Clifton (now Britannia) Homes, £50,000 of which is secured on the stadium but doesn't become payable until at least 2012.
Balance on long-term loan of £139,000 
Trade debts (inc. backlog on wages, electricity) £34,000
Past PAYE (due within 6 months) £23,000
Current PAYE owed £9,000
Bank Interest owed from Jan. 1998 £3,900
VAT owed on payment plan £21,000
Current VAT due in July £6,800
Bank's working overdraft £27,000
Director's Loans £127,000
Bass Brewery historical loan £4,300 (being paid at £91.67)
TOTAL: £495,000 (of which £256,000 is immediate inc. directors loans)

24/8/99 Manager Hughes is told to take responsibility for raising cash to fund his playing squad. The board have made the decision after discovering new players are expecting signing on fees which the directors claim they had no knowledge of.

18/8/99 Chris Hill sends shareholders a letter outlining current debt. Barclays show debt to them to be £169,000 paid at 3% over base rate, while city have a £100,000 debenture with Clifton Homes. Other creditors are owed a total of £130,000 and director's loans total £100,000. The 'mystery backer' mentioned by the board is proposing an anonymous donation of £5,000.

3/8/99 Newport confirms the board will not accept Gardner's offer. Cook refuses to sell his shares and the board will go alone in seeking new investors for the club.

29/7/99 Colin Gardner offers to inject £260,000 into the club by becoming mortgagee of Meadow Park. This would consolidate all the club's debts into one payment back to Gardner at 4% over base rate, removing the immediate financial threat. Gardner would require that Brian Cook and Dave Phillips sell him their shares to increase his stake in the club. He also points to three other potential investors who would support the club if his offer was accepted.

27/7/99 A consortium led by solicitor's clerk Tracey Newport take control of the club with Newport as acting chairman. The group includes Brian Cook, former director David Phillips, local businessman Mark Blanchfield, McGurk's wife Sarah Christie and an unnamed backer. The new directors pay off the club's pressing £6,000 VAT.

25/7/99 Rob Thomas tells an open meeting that he is resigning as chairman. Colin Gardner withdraws a £200,000 offer to buy Meadow Park as he say's it was conditional on Thomas remaining as chairman. Supporter rumours persist that Thomas has been engineered out by major shareholder Eamonn McGurk.

March 1999 AGM for 97/8

Last year's accounts are announced at the Shareholder's AGM on 31st March '99. They show an annual profit of £105,363 for the period between July 1997 and June 1998. However that amount includes all the extra income and donations raised during January 1998's  financial appeals, and all the profits are set against paying off the club's longstanding debts. The club still has financial difficulties, although thanks to the work of the Directors and the publicity surrounding the threat of a winding-up order the situation is seen as gradually improving.Former Chairman Rob Thomas with Vice-Chair Michael Tuck
The club still owes more than £214,829 to be paid within the next year to March 2000, although that shows a huge improvement on the total £555,188 debt the Club faced to clear in a similar period the previous year. The sum includes money still owed in tax and money owed to the bank in terms of loans and overdraft. The club owes a further £305,766, but much of that does not require paying for many years - and even this long term debt is decreased from the previous years accounts. Overheads have once again been cut, with the whole wage bill (covering all staff as well as players) has again been cut and now stands at £292,139 for 38 staff of which 23 are players. This compares with a bill of £322,453 for 41 staff the previous year.

Chairman  Rob Thomas remains hopeful of the clubs long term future, and sees the situation improving further. However, cost cutting could well continue, and the selling off the Social Club (Fieldings) remains a distinct possibility, with an annual saving in excess of £25,000.

Shareholders were also issued with a register of those holding shares, at present 214 people. Many are minor shareholders with between 20 and 40 shares. The two largest shareholders are Eamonn McGurk with 69,000 and Rob Thomas with 31,900 out of the total 150,000. The next largest shareholding is 6,638. It remains the policy of the board that there shouldn't be any one shareholder with total control of the club.

Account Summary

Full Accounts 30/6/98

Turnover rose from £456,790 in 1997 to £659,347 in 1998.

Operating profit rose from a loss of £319,474 in 1997 to a profit of £129,224 in 1998.

Meadow Park as freehold property had been valued by directors in June 1997 at £540,000. During the year 1997/8 land valued at £240,000 was sold to Eamonn McGurk of EMG Ltd. for £211,244. This has led to a revaluation of Meadow Park at £300,000.

The amount owed to creditors with one year was £555,188 in 1997. This decreased to £214,829 in 1999.
The amount owed to creditors over a period longer than a year in 1997 was £332,404. this had dropped in 1998 to £305,766.

Employee costs, including players, management and bar staff fell from £322,453 in 1997 to £292,139 in 1998.

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January 1998 Bankruptcy Crisis 
The Launch

On January 5th 1998 chairman Rob Thomas issued a desperate plea to raise £32,000 in order that Gloucester City could pay an £82,000 bill from the Inland Revenue for PAYE bills over the past few seasons. If the bill wasn't paid Gloucester City faced a winding-up order at the High Court on January 14th. This debt was said to have been ran up by previous chairman Keith Gardner who left the club, and the bill, in May 1997. Since that time the new board had succeeded in paying off a debt of £240,000 to Carlsberg-Tetley, plus a number of other debts to local firms and contractors who had gone unpaid during the Gardner years. This money had been raised through cost-cutting and increased sponsorship revenue. Rob Thomas revealed in February that when he took over in June 1997 the club owed £409,687 -by February 1998 reduced to £75,000, and finally cleared in July 1998. The club announced a loss of £376,002 for the season 1996/7 at the shareholder's AGM.

The winding-up order was averted by string of donations from supporters and local firms, the largest being a £5,000 donation by Birds Eye-Walls, matched by an anonymous supporter. The final sum to enable City to pay off the Inland Revenue was secured with a short-term interest free loan from Gloucester City Council. The new board and Chairman Rob Thomas promised the revenue crisis would be the club's last financial crisis. With the £82,000 raised City could look to the future, but to ensure success they still need sponsorship and donations.

Debt Clearance by July 1998: Gloucester City Council's £20,000 loan was repaid with a second £10,000 payment at the end of March 1998. The club still owed yet more money to the Inland Revenue for the 1997/8 PAYE bill with £18,000 remaining to be paid off in £6,000 monthly installments. A £30,000 quarterly VAT bill has been knocked down to £9,200 after good work by City's accountants and is being paid off in monthly £1,000 payments with £8,195 completed by the summer of 1998. The club also had bad debts owing to the police, MEB and Severn Trent but all these bills are now cleared or reduced to normal trading levels. To pay off these debts the board has budgeted for £10,000 from new sponsors Orange, Tesco, Ecclesiastical Insurance and the C & G building society plus a further £4,000 from current sponsors. This was boosted in May 1998 by the announcement of a two year £20,000 package agreed with Brunsdon Insurance. The club has also been helped by £15,000 from the bequest of house contents by a recently deceased supporter Ken Selwyn, and expects to make a further £40,000 from the house sale. By July 1998 the club was saving £5,600 a month previously being paid out on bad debt collected over previous seasons.

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