Meeting with Tara Brady – a summary

18 Feb

This article is reproduced from the forthcoming issue of All At Sea – it is brief, but more will be added.
A summary is a little difficult to do in such a small space but I’ll try. Basically, the club is a yo-yo in the pocket of Sainsburys. The supermarket never anticipated its deal would be so long and protracted, and so the club is finding it harder and harder to go cap in hand.

Every month, Mr Brady must apply to Sainsburys to cover the clubs debts. He must list the outgoings and request the payment. Unfortunately, the supermarket has not always paid up on time because it knows it has us by the balls.

My first question was have all staff been paid for this month – the answer was an honest no. Mr Brady said the winding-up order could wait – his preference was to pay owed staff first. But he said he was confident the HMRC debt would be paid. Interestingly, he says he has told Ron not to speak in the absolute; “I will” etc. because it misleads people. Throughout, he offered no guarantees.

A three-sided stadium will not make us any money. Mr Brady admitted that practically all the revenue streams for SUFC are tied up in that main stand. The retail element of FF is unconnected to SUFC and we will not gain from it. But he made it clear that his involvement is pointless, and costly, without that fourth side, and that when the contracts are signed (when the CPOs on the Pizza shops are sorted) then the club will be have an asset to “sell” to the hotel chains. Before then, it is impossible to begin negotiations as there is, essentially, no asset. Planning permission and a few retailers on board are not concrete enough to get people to enter advanced negotiations.

As for those CPOs, Mr Brady said the shops have appealed, and it is expected to take another month before the process reaches a conclusion. He said the entire process – from CPOs being applied for, to the inevitable appeal, to the Government’s decision, takes three months. We are six weeks into that period.

Players wages are high – partly because we had to pay more to entice players in the summer because of our known history and the fact that we were in a poor negotiating position – ie we had to get players in at any cost. We are still shelling out for players we had on loan last season.

Mr Brady is not aware that Steve Tilson is owed any money by Southend United. He said there is nothing owed to Tilson since he (Brady) arrived at the club, and if he is owed historic wages, he should get in touch.

We are not under a transfer embargo. Players have been paid so there is no issue with the PFA (it is club staff who are owed, not players).

Money owed to HMRC is around £20K, one month’s PAYE. A theme that featured throughout is that the club is financially screwed. We are heavily reliant on Sainsburys to pay the debts as they fall due. Unfortunately, this puts them in a great position, and they are apparently not hesitant to take advantage of that. We are on our knees financially until May. Mr Brady is hoping the stadium can be signed off in June – but no guarantees.

More to follow tomorrow.


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