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Football journalist Charles Bannerman
"The chairman outlined the situation in an incredibly frank and blunt letter"
 real 28k

Friday, 3 March, 2000, 17:33 GMT
Caley facing 2m debt
Stand under construction
The club's ground cost 5.2m to develop
A financial audit has uncovered debts of nearly 2m at Scottish Cup giantkillers Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

Fans and shareholders have been told the club is in serious financial trouble after just six years in existence in its present form.

The annual general meeting in December was warned that the club had substantial debts and was running at a trading loss of 230,000.
Fans
Fans have been asked to rally round
David Sutherland, who took over as chairman in January, has found that the situation is worse than previously thought and has appealed to fans and shareholders to rally round.

He said cost controls were being put in place and that each area of the business was under review.

In a letter, Mr Sutherland said: "The board has examined many proposals over the last few weeks and we hope to be in a position to come to you within the next four weeks with an initiative which will see us raise new equity and address the crippling debt."

Ann Nicol, chairwoman of the supporters association, said she was very worried.

Sponsorship deals

Referring to Caley's feat in knocking Celtic out of the Scottish Cup then holding Aberdeen to a draw, she said: "It would be unthinkable for the club to fold now especially in light of our recent results.

"We need new money from sponsorship deals and more people coming through the gates.
T-shirt headline
Caley enjoyed a shock win over Celtic
"At present we are running to stand still because of the interest we are having to pay on the current overdraft.

"I think the new chairman will help us to turn it round and take the club into a new era."

Caley Thistle was born in 1994 after an amalgamation of Highland League teams Inverness Caledonian and Inverness Thistle.

After selling both their respective grounds they had to build a 5.2m stadium on the outskirts of the town.

A further 1.5m was needed to provide an access road and car park for the ground.

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See also:

01 Mar 00 | Football
Caley dream dies at Pittodrie
01 Feb 00 | Football
Caley fan plans refund fight
21 Feb 00 | Football
Caley close to second scalp
08 Feb 00 | Football
Caley's minnows slay Celtic
31 Jan 00 | Football
Caley soak up buses cost
29 Jan 00 | Scotland
Weather blow to fans' hopes
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