Scottish First Division Dunfermline To Go Into Voluntary Administration To Settle HMRC Debt
Scottish First Division Dunfermline AFC is "applying to go into administration" as they attempt to settle a £134,000 ($203,117) debt with U.K. tax authority HMRC, according to the Scotland DAILY RECORD. The "crisis-hit first division club confirmed the move" Tuesday afternoon after a lengthy meeting between Professional FA Scotland, players, staff, Dunfermline Football Dir Jim Leishman and Manager Jim Jefferies. Leishman revealed that "some fans had put up money to appoint an administrator in a bid to avoid liquidation." A group of supporters have agreed to help underwrite the appointment of an administrator and a court hearing "will now be held to determine whether the application is successful." The appointment of an administrator "would offer the Pars protection from creditors while allowing the club to continue trading" (DAILY RECORD, 3/26). Leishman said, "There is a group of Dunfermline Athletic supporters who have underwritten the administrator's fees, which is great. So we are back in the game. It was either liquidation where you are done and dusted, and you have nothing. But we are giving it a chance" (IRISH INDEPENDENT, 3/26).
SEEKING CLARITY: FOOTBALL UK reported Dunfermline have approached PKF's Bryan Jackson to conduct the administration process, "but the appointment will need to be approved" at the Court of Session in conjunction with HMRC. Jackson's previous tasks "have included similar roles at Clyde, Clydebank, Motherwell, Dundee and Portsmouth." PFA Scotland CEO Fraser Wishart welcomed the move as it averted the "calamitous" prospect of liquidation, "for the time being at least." Wishart: "At least there is some kind of clarity to the situation and we welcome that. I'm pleased it's Bryan Jackson, somebody I have worked with many times before and who knows the football game inside out" (FOOTBALL UK, 3/26). The BBC reported Dunfermline captain Jordan McMillan said that "the last few months have been 'horrible' for Pars players and remains worried some could lose their jobs." McMillan said, "That's something we don't want to see. We're powerless and just have to get on with the task in hand" (BBC, 3/26).