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Money - where it's gone...
a sad catalogue of financial intrigue and ineptitude,
perhaps in some places 'fictional', sadly not in all...
For those of you
new to the tangled web of City's financial plight this is a summary
of our position with what has been said, suggested and happened. However
with so many inconsistent statements and so few clear answers this cannot
be offered as a definitive factual statement...
Summary of Club's Accounts & Debts as Last Filed
Chronological List of Comments on City's Finances since May 2000
Links to historic financial quote's; Supporter's Views; Companies House
It should be remembered that whilst every effort has been made to present
all the events in chronological order I can make no absolute claim that
any of this is either right or true. City's finances are not easy to
follow, even without all the apparent smoke and mirrors.
All figures are approximate as reported, not all opinions expressed
are those of the site owners, all stories or quotes taken from the local
press are used in good faith, failure to keep up payments may result
in your browser being repossessed, stocks and shares can go down as
well as up, in some cases white may be black, and a whole lot of other
qualifications and riders to try and prevent any of this being seen
as libelous in any way at all...
Details of current Gloucester City commercial
Fans can also check
on official records held on the club at Companies
The club is registered as a private limited company under the name
Gloucester City AFC (1980) Ltd.
It was incorporated on the 14th February 1980, and is company number
Financial Comments - pre 2000
Supporters Club News (including aims of the
club re. finances)
Current News & Gossip
Archive of Old T-Ender Articles
Last Full Accounts 30/6/02
Turnover dropped again from £129,473 in 2001 to £102,739 in 2002.
Operating profit rose from £20,025 in 2001 to an increased profit
of £22,322 in 2002.
In 2000 a total of £141,449 worth of director's loans were written
off. This made a large contribution to an overall profit of £108,331
for 2000. In 2001 this was added to be an overall profit of £3,751
and in 2002 a further increase to £8,463.
The amount owed to creditors with one year was £178,452 in 2000. This
increased slightly to £184,424 in 2001 before dropping back to £171,481
The amount owed to creditors over a period longer than a year in 2000
was £387,716. this had dropped slightly in 2001 to £383,965 and again
in 2002 to £375,502.
Meadow Park as freehold property was
revalued on 24th January 2000 and was considered to have £140,000
marketable value. It had previously been valued in the accounts at
At the AGM held at Meadow park on 30/3/03 shareholders agreed to back
a decision to effectively split the club from both the Meadow Park
stadium and the historic debt which has proved an obstacle to long
term investment. Under the arrangement the bulk of the current £625,552
debt will pass to a new holding company owned by major shareholder
Eamonn McGurk and his wife. The debt is secured on Meadow Park and
will be repaid by City at £40,000 a year, with Gloucester City effectively
becoming tenants on a secured 7 year lease. The plan immediately opens
the way for expansion of the board as directors will no longer be
responsible for the previous debt, instead being left with a more
manageable amount of approximately £45,000.
Summary Comparison of Recent Accounts
Due in 1 Year
Due more than year
at Previous AGM on Next Page
Summary of Current Known Creditors
Loans & Overdraft
Debts with Claim on Meadow Park
(as returned to 31/12/01)
Total of 12 Mortgage Charges
|| As Mortgage
|| Legal Charge
|| As Mortgage
|| Legal Charge
|| As Loan
|| As Mortgage
|| Legal Charge
| Keith Gardner
|| Legal Charge
|| As Loan
|| Legal Charge
|| As Loan
|| Legal Charge
| EMG Ltd
|| As agreed
| Sarah Christie
| EMG Ltd.
|| Legal Charge
(at 31/12/02 - holders of 5000 plus)
| E McGurk
|| 69,000 (46%)
| P Duncliffe
| T Newport
| C Hill
| D Phillips
| P Barnes
| R Wallace
Financial News since 2000
6/2/04 - Colin Gardner tells a board meeting
that he intends to resign as Chairman and step down from the board of
directors at the end of the current season. He cites having paid £55,000
to keep the club stable over the last two and a half years and says,
“I am not prepared to be a ‘cheque-book chairman and that is what I
am becoming. I am practically down at the club every day and I am supposed
to be retired.”
His resignation letter states City should be self-funding but having
already written off an earlier loan he has now had to put in a further
£10,000 and takes his contribution this season to over £25,000.
9/1/04 - Colin Gardner is proposing to split the current board
of directors into two, with a non-executive section overseeing the football
side while the remaining board of executive members concentrate on fundraising.Gardner
believes the step may help the club move forward and concentrate efforts
on bringing in the additional resources needed to build the club. He
told fans “We have already made a £10,000 profit this season and we
expect to double that by May." Up to six other directors who are
not actively contributing to the club will be asked to formally step
down, possibly to make way for new people who may be able to bring in
fresh funds or expertise.
9/10/03 - Colin Gardner writes off a £10,000 debt owed to
him by the football club from the period before he re-joined the City
board. He has also persuaded former director Brian Cook to write off
a debt of £3,600 debt owed to his company Whitehouse Press. The deals
now reduce the club’s debt to £30,000.
9/9/03- Chairman Colin Gardner issues an ultimatum – help me raise
funds or I’ll leave at the end of this season. Gardner had high hopes
for the new board that was expanded in the summer, but complained that
many of the new appointees are not making the contribution expected.
Gardner told The Citizen, “I am advertising for four new directors
as I simply won’t let the current directors get away with doing nothing.
If that is their attitude they will have to go. If the board raised
as much as the Supporters Club there would not be a problem.”
28/7/03 - Striker Jimmy Cox signs a two year contract at Gloucester
City, becoming the first player to sign a contract with City since August
1999 when the club broke the terms of existing contracts and were placed
under an FA embargo. This was only lifted in May 2002 after donations
from the Supporters Club helped clear the contract dispute with former
30/3/03 - Shareholders at the club's AGM unanimously backed a decision
to effectively split the club from the Meadow Park stadium and the historic
debt which proved an obstacle to long term investment. Under the arrangement
the bulk of the current £625,552 debt passes to a new holding
company owned by major shareholder Eamonn McGurk. The debt is secured
on Meadow Park and will now be repaid by City at £40,000 a year, with
Gloucester City becoming tenants on a secured 7 year lease. The plan
opens the way for expansion of the board as directors will no longer
be responsible for the previous debt, instead being left with a more
manageable amount of approximately £45,000.
Shareholders also approved 2001/2 accounts showing that despite a drop
in income to £102,739 from the previous year's £129,473 a major decrease
in expenses saw City's overall profit increase from £3,751 in 00/1 to
£8,463 in 01/2. This decrease is partly due to another fall in wages
and expenses from £52,995 to £40,648 in 01/2. A further factor behind
the increase in profit is the efforts of the Supporters Club to take
on additional costs from the main club, match & travel expenses
fell by £5,447 while cleaning expenses fell by £1,850.
Chairman Colin Gardner also announced a major sponsorship deal with
Keyway, to run for five seasons. The first two seasons will bring in
£20,000 per season for sponsorship of the T-End stand and City shirts.
The remaining 3 years of the deal will be dependent on what division
City is in at the time. Long term Gardner hoped City would move to a
new development next to Meadow Park, and City will apply for planning
permission to do this next season. However these plans may be frustrated
by problems with the exact point of a new access road from Spinnaker
Road, ironically details supported by the football club but opposed
by the Supporters Club at a planning inquiry two years ago.
2/2/03 - Colin Gardner has agreed a sponsorship deal with local
insurer Brunsdons who have agreed to provide the club's cover for the
coming year. The deal is worth in excess of £5,000 as Meadow Park has
suffered from severe flooding as well as a series of break-ins in recent
years. Owner Eamonn McGurk has also negotiated a £2,500 sponsorship
deal through his business contacts with Molsons, suppliers of excavating
equipment. The double boost comes together with news that the club is
set to report a profit for the past year of approximately £8,000.
Back to top
28/11/02 - City's Supporters Club have now raised a total of more
than £30,000 since being reconstituted in February 2001. The money raised
by the 184 members is all put towards specific costs passed from the
football club and is aimed at leaving City's board free to put more
money into stabilising the Tigers' long standing debts. City's main
debt has meanwhile remained settled, mainly thanks to the contributions
of Eamonn McGurk paying £500 weekly to the Inland Revenue and Colin
Gardner paying regular sums to cover the local authority rates owed
29/7/02 The Gloucester Citizen issued an apology after an error
strewn article printed the previous Saturday. The page 3 article outlined
the decision of local police not to proceed with a fraud investigation
against former City chairman Tracy Newport. The paper implied an association
with the financial allegations against Newport and the cash crisis at
the football club. Unfortunately the witless reporter and clueless subs
failed to remember that Tracy Newport had ceased to be City chairman
in the immediate wake of the allegations made against him and was formally
replaced by highly respected local businessman Colin Gardner back in
17/3/02 - City shareholders unanimously
passed the accounts for both 2000 and 2001. Accounts show that City
made a profit of £108,331 in 2000, largely due to the clearance of directors
loans of £141,449. City then made a small operating profit of £3,751
in 2001. City's expenditure has steadily fallen over the years as City
cut their budget to more realistic and sustainable levels. In 1997 City's
wage bill was a massive £322,453, falling steadily to £96,587 in 2000
and £52,955 in 2001. The overall impact of these savings still leaves
City's debt payable in the next year at £184,424, a considerable sum,
but more manageable than the £555,188 shown on Keith Gardner's departure
21/1/02 - City settle contract dispute with former players Nigel
Niblett and Nathan Wigg for a sum understood to be a total of £4,750,
with half of the money donated by City's Supporters Club. Once the settlement
is cleared by the FA City will be allowed to offer players contracts
after a longstanding embargo.10/11/01 - Colin Gardner is confirmed as
the new Chairman by a City board meeting. He replaces Newport who remains
on the board but steps aside to concentrate on his legal problems.11/10/01
- Tracy Newport tells fans that the £18,000 debt to Banks' Brewery has
been cleared. This is believed to be the same money that has been referred
to as owed to Bass and the Wolverhampton & Dudley Brewery.
3/10/01 - Chairman Tracy Newport the future of the club
was bleak unless fans and shareholders began helping the club. The
last six months accounts were available to view, although others were
said to be at accountants in preparation for the next AGM.
It was revealed the club is continuing to run at a loss this season,
partly due to lost revenue caused by the flooding, but also because
the player's wage bill remains over the £1500 per week budget. Long
term debentures were also discussed, with £50,000 still owed to Y.J.
Lovell (formerly Britannia Homes) and a further £18,000 to Wolverhampton
& Dudley Breweries (formerly owed to Bass). A Club AGM is planned
for early March.
A new debt in the region of £1500 has been discovered, an amount outstanding
on the transfer of Adie Mings from Bath City way back in 1996.
14/01/01 Tracy Newport had threatened legal action after a
newspaper suggested the players were not being paid but now admitted
that lack of income had left the club with no option but to let the
wages slip in weeks no games had been played. The club faces a fresh
£500 fine for submitting late paperwork. City fans arrange a meeting
to discuss action to address some of the club's problems.
10/01/01 Newport denies rumours the players have been unpaid
during the flooding problems and again denies major shareholder McGurk
is planning to sell the ground. He also tells the fans that they continue
to seek new investment and that the club's books are open to scrutiny.
Days after that newspaper interview football secretary Jason Mills quits
complaining that "issues surrounding the club are not being taken
seriously" and that he has lacked co-operation from the board.
close Meadow Park causing thousands of pounds of damage. While the insurance
will cover much of the cost of replacing lost equipment and ground damage
the floods add to City's cash flow difficulties.
27/11/00 Tracy Newport says the club's "making headway
with the finances" and that the FA's new Financial Compliance Unit
are watching and remain happy with the club's position. He is meeting
the £2,500 bill to former Manager Brian Hughes for unfair dismissal
. The AGM covering the 1999/2000 season was now likely to take place
Back to top
12/8/00 The City Supporter's Club are hit by a County Court
summons for £700 relating to the delivery of the portakabin used as
the club shop. The summons is beyond the settlement date but would appear
to have been held by City for some period of time. The Supporter's Club
had received no previous documentation relating to the debt.
8/8/00 Tracy Newport hints at a supporter's forum that there
was a possibility that the club may be considering asking the police
to look into the club's past affairs with a view to instigating criminal
proceedings if there was found to be a case to answer.
The industrial tribunal against City brought by Brian Hughes is adjourned
due to irregular paperwork. At the tribunal Newport is unable to produce
evidence of a meeting when he claims the decision to sack Hughes was
made. City remain unable to sign players on contracts, or to obtain
FA grants, until the dispute with Wigg and Niblett is settled. Both
players are reported to have filed cases in the County Court.
The playing budget for 2000/1 has been set at £1500 p/w. An AGM is announced
for the 24th August, although this is outside the mandatory legal 21
days notice. The club's accounts are expected to be received by shareholders
"shortly". Newport also told the meeting that the VAT repayment
was up to date, and the Inland Revenue debt remained on a steady payment
plan. The club's current debts are estimated to be £400,000.
3/8/00 Departing player Nigel Niblett continues to
claim £3,900 he alleges is owed him from his contract. One other player,
Nathan Wigg, continues to have a similar claim against the club.
Tracy Newport tells The Citizen "Unfortunately we do not
have the funds to pay all the demands on us from the two players and
Brian Hughes, and we have to ask the question, do we play football or
do we go bust? I will not allow the club to be used or abused by outsiders
as it was last year." Football director Richard Bull resigns from
City's board to take over at newly formed Gloucester United, Commercial
director Daryll Cox quits due to pressure of work.
The public inquiry into the access road to the Meadow Park area held
at Gloucester City Council saw the club claim this access was part of
the original plan when Meadow Park was built, and that the providing
of access was a condition for the planning approval given for Spinnaker
Road to be built. The company responsible for this, Bishop & Brody,
challenged whether they still had to provide this access. The City board
further want this access to be to the adjoining land, the land now
owned by majority shareholder Eamonn McGurk.
23/6/00 The planning appeal regarding the proposed
access road to Meadow Park found against developers Bishop & Brody
and ordered them to complete access from Spinnaker Road through to Sudmeadow
Road. the road is likely to enter directly on to land now owned by Eamonn
McGurk's EMG and Mothel companies.
The new access brings to an end a struggle for the second access point
that has been ongoing since the ground was built. It is up to the developers
to now make a move towards completing the road.
City supporters at the inquiry opposed this, asking for the original access
to the rear of Meadow Park and for this access to be limited to the land's
use by the football club. During the inquiry the directors also stated
that the land adjoining Meadow Park had been available to supporters as
car parking throughout the past season, when it has been fenced off since
August. This land was also discovered to be in the name of a third McGurk
company called Mothel, not EMG as previously believed. The council also
learnt for the first time of the change in usage of the Fieldings area,
which they believed to be still in use as football pitches. One of the
planning applications made in the name of Gloucester City for the McGurk
owned land has had to be withdrawn as it wrongly included an assertion
that consultation had taken place with Gantry.
15/04/00 Chairman Tracey
Newport states the repayment of debt to the Inland Revenue continues
at £2000 a week. A newspaper article the same day places the repayment
at £1,000 a month. the board have plans to increase next season's playing
budget slightly from the current
£500 p/w and are looking at renting back the social club from Eamonn
McGurk. The current tax bill is £18,856.9/3/00 At a meeting between
the board and fans Eamonn McGurk promises not to build on Meadow Park
at present, although he "can't see into the future". McGurk
confirmed that with his wife and brother he owns a majority of the club.
There were no answers to more searching financial questions.
07/03/00 The City board is to consider the offer from
Colin Gardner to buy the shares of Eamonn McGurk, currently the majority
shareholder at the club. Chairman Tracey Newport revealed that the 32,000
shares returned by former Chairman Rob Thomas had been bought by current
directors Tracey Newport, Richard Bull, Darryl Cox and McGurk's wife
Sarah Christie whose purchase guarantees McGurk a controlling share
of the club.
05/03/00 Newport accuses former chairman Rob Thomas
of lying to supporters in the Pink Un, accusing him of telling
fans "what they want to hear. I only tell the truth and people
don't always like the truth." He also claims to have been misquoted
in The Citizen saying that club's debts "were close to zero"
meant debts were closer to zero, having cleared £250,000.
Newport also said the accounts inherited from Thomas were "a complete
mess", but the books are now in order. Newport is unable to explain
the resurfacing of a VAT bill dating between 1991-94. He also stated
independent valuers have said Meadow Park is worth £100,000, but the
club's debts are now "virtually five times the valuation of the
03/03/00 Former director and multi-millionaire Gloucester
businessman Colin Gardner offers to buy both the shares of main shareholder
Eamonn McGurk, or the 30,000 shares
returned to the club by former Chairman Rob Thomas in November. 01/03/00
Supporters meet to discuss the position of the club following the sacking
of Brian Hughes and latest reduction of the wage bill. The general attitude
of the board in their personal dealings are condemned, but issues regarding
finance and planning are also discussed. Hughes confirms he had only
been receiving money for contract players, with non-contract players
and himself being unpaid by the board. Four planning applications are
in place on the Meadow Park area, all in the name of Gloucester City
rather than EMG. They are to develop the whole site for business use,
to build an office block on the current Fieldings changing rooms, to
redevelop a two tier cafe and bar on the old social club and lastly
to build a lorry park on part of the site. Only this last application
has been approved by City Council planners. The Spinnaker Road access
is subject to a public inquiry on May 9th which will decide if Pressweld
have to pay for the access road. Access was an original condition of
building the ground back in 1986.
Back to top
23/02/00 A letter from non-executive director
Chris Hill states that the club has received a winding-up order
from Customs & Excise for an £8,000 debt, with the Inland Revenue
owed £28,000 payable by April '00. The council is also owed £10,000, although
the bank is apparently content with the club's current plans. The letter
explains fencing of the car park as intended to increase pressure
on the council to grant access through Spinnaker Road.
22/02/00 The board slash the weekly playing budget
to £500 and cancel the contracts of the 9 remaining contract players.
The board's statement places the budget as having been £2000 a week,
some directors quote a figure of £2,500 while supporters believe the
figure to be £1800 with only nine players being paid by the board.
It is stated the club is running even on a current basis, but this leaves
long-term debts including some going back to 1991. Bills outstanding
include those from the VAT, PAYE and vaguely, loan repayments, according
to The Citizen including council rates on the social club. The
board claims to have wiped out £250,000 of debt since taking over in
July. Subject to planning a backer has been found to redevelop the social
club site with a September opening target.06/01/00 Chris Hill's
latest letter claims £120,000 of director's loans have been written
off. This includes money that Rob Thomas has written off, along with
the £8,000 owed to Colin Gardner and the unpaid wages owed to Mike Bullingham.
However the club is still losing around £400 every match day. City still
have four main debtors: Inland Revenue, Customs & Excise, Bass Breweries
and Banks's Brewery. The playing budget is currently set at £2,000 a
New recruits to the City board are named as Colin Hygate (Managing Director
of Environmental Solutions, a waste management, pollution control and
brown field development consultant), Paul Duncliffe (a planning consultant),
Richard Bull and Darryl Cox.