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Page last updated at 07:40 GMT, Friday, 28 August 2009 08:40 UK

Cherries defiant as embargo stays

Bournemouth's Dean Court home
Bournemouth have struggled with financial problems for many years

Bournemouth chairman Eddie Mitchell has issued a statement explaining why the Football League has refused to relax the club's transfer embargo.

Mitchell, part of the consortium which took over the League Two club in June, met League officials on Tuesday.

"The League's position is there to make sure all the teams are competing on a level playing field," Mitchell said.

"They are unable to relax the embargo until such time we have honoured all our outstanding creditors."

The Cherries entered administration in February 2008, earning themselves an automatic 10-point deduction from the League, and were eventually relegated from League One by two points that season.

The administrators eventually agreed to sell the club to marketing company Sport-6, headed by Paul Baker and his business partner Alastair Saverimutto.


However, as the club was unable to agree a Company Voluntary Agreement (CVA) with its creditors, the League imposed an additional 17-point penalty at the start of the 2008/09 season.

Eddie Howe, the third manager of the season, kept the club in the League with one game to spare, while the Murry Group - including ex-Dorchester chairman Mitchell and directors Jeff Mostyn, Steve Sly, Adam Murry and Neill Blake - bought out Baker and Sport-6 in June.

"We are working tirelessly to repair the damage we have either inherited or uncovered since taking control of the club," Mitchell continued.

"When AFC Bournemouth came out of administration at the start of last season, it was financially at an advantage in the sense that the club shed a large percentage of the debt at the time.

"We were also told by the League in a forceful manner that most other clubs have fulfilled their obligations and that Bournemouth should start living within its means and face up to its responsibilities.

"This brought us to the question of 'haven't Bournemouth been brought into line by way of their 17-point deduction at the start of 2008/09?'

"That was the case, but during last season Bournemouth accumulated another £1m debt by living beyond its means yet again."

Kevin Bond, Jimmy Quinn and Eddie Howe
Bond, Quinn and Howe all occupied the manager's office in 2008/09

"The club was mismanaged considerably. Loyalty to players and staff was not honoured. Two managers came and went and despite agreements, compensation is still outstanding.

"Tax was not paid to the tune of £400,000, rent on the stadium wasn't paid, in fact a great deal of creditors weren't paid, so where did the revenue go from last year? It appears down the drain.

"And if it wasn't for Eddie and his squad's heroics, combined with myself, Neill, Jeff, Steve and Adam stepping in with a financial lifeline when we did, the club would have taken the same route.

"So until such time as we can put our house in order, the embargo will remain.

"It was explained in detail that we are on the highest level of embargo and the next step down would allow us to have loan players.

"We need to show constantly improving monthly accounts, meet all football creditors' debts and pay our outstanding taxes while meeting our ongoing commitments."

Without us stepping in when we did, the football club would have been wound up in court on 13 July 2009 and that's the truth

Bournemouth chairman Eddie Mitchell

On the pitch, Howe has steered the Cherries to three wins from their opening four league games - but injuries and international call-ups, combined with the ongoing embargo, have prevented him from naming a full complement of substitutes in several games.

Mitchell added: "Since the new board have been in place, we have paid circa £150,000 to HM Revenue & Customs for arrears, made the first CVA payment, met all current PAYE/NIC and VAT obligations, paid all current staff/players wages up to date, cleared a number of court judgements and agreed payment terms with the majority of aged creditors, whilst paying current creditors on time.

"I also feel it prudent to let the supporters know that we paid a very considerable amount of money to previous owners to stop the club going back into administration and losing its League status.

"Without us stepping in when we did, the football club would have been wound up in court on 13 July 2009 and that's the truth.

"If we eventually get the embargo lifted and remain a force in this league this season it will be down to the players we have, the board that's in place, and most of all the supporters.

"I believe that if we continue with these 5,000-6,000 gates and we can eat into the inherited debt, it is my belief and the board's that we will survive - but we all must do our bit."

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see also
Mitchell outlines Cherries plan
23 Jun 09 |  Bournemouth
Murry completes Cherries takeover
20 Jun 09 |  Bournemouth
Bournemouth accept League penalty
08 Aug 08 |  Bournemouth
Bournemouth enter administration
08 Feb 08 |  Bournemouth
Bournemouth bid to avoid meltdown
15 Jan 08 |  Bournemouth

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