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Monday, 25 March, 2002, 17:32 GMT
Clean slate keeps Swans afloat
Swansea City's Stuart Roberts
The deal should keep Swansea playing next season
Swansea City Football Club's future looks secured after creditors voted to write off most of the troubled side's debts.

They accepted a proposal from the Swans to repay just 5% of the 1.4m overhead which was owed to investors and crippling the club.

The new board - a consortium which bought up the side's huge debts in December - now hopes to wipe the slate clean by the end of the month.

Details of deal
5p in each 1 for unsecured creditors owed 1.4m
364,000 for preferred creditors
Morfa move back on agenda
Clean slate likely by March's end
Hollins gets just 4,000 of disputed 250,000
It should secure the short-term future of the club after a total 1.7m debt threatened to kill it off.

Former Swans director and Wales international Mel Nurse led a local business consortium's buy-out of the club in January, for a sum thought to near 50,000.

He had earlier taken on the debts from controversial Tony Petty, who had owned the club from October, and was left him owing cash including 801,000 to former owners Ninth Floor plc.

The consortium issued a statement last week reading: "Despite the recent personal investment by the management board of 115,000, the club's debts of 1.7m are insurmountable."

It said the proposed deal would allow the Swans to survive and carry out the planned move to Swansea's Morfa stadium.

Clean sheet

But 92.4% of the creditors, mainly local businessmen, pledged to give the Swans a clean sheet for the 2002/03 season in a Company Voluntary Arrangement.

It means directors need pay only 5p in every 1 of the 1.4m owed to a selection of "unsecured" creditors.

Nick Cusack
Nick Cusack is now joint coach at the Vetch
They will also give back 364,000 to "preferred" creditors including the Inland Revenue and Customs and Excise.

Swansea City will now avoid liquidation and can compete again in the Nationwide League Division Three next season if it avoids relegation.

But former coach John Hollins, who was sacked in September and joined Rochdale, will get just 4,000 of the 250,000 he claimed he was owed.

He had mailed a proxy form to vote against Monday's deal, but an insolvency expert told him his contribution would not count because he had not returned a required document.

The club's statement continued: "This will allow the club to have a viable future, take advantage of the move to Morfa and look ahead to next season and beyond without the financial threat which currently continues to loom over Swansea City."

Crippling debts

The crippling debts had left the club banned by the Football Association from player transfers, meaning no new players will be arriving at the Vetch Field this season.

The cash crisis also led to the departure of manager Colin Addison and assistant Peter Nicholas, whose contracts were not renewed for next season.

David Morgan, the club's sole remaining director, said on Monday afternoon: "Our next aim is to go forward with successful League Football in a new stadium.

"The consortium's first aim was to rescue the Club from the threat of liquidation.

"The second aim was to restructure the management and commercial overheads.

"Our next aim is to go forward with successful League Football in a new stadium."

He said annual overheads had been slashed by 500,000 in eight weeks and expressed his "deep thanks" to the creditors.

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