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Page last updated at 11:15 GMT, Monday, 26 April 2010 12:15 UK

Hull City can 'trade through' financial difficulties

Russell Bartlett (right)
Bartlett (right) believes the club can avoid a 10-point penalty

Hull City can "trade through" their current financial difficulties, according to owner Russell Bartlett.

The cash-strapped Tigers, £35m in debt, face an uncertain financial future due to their impending relegation from the Premier League.

A player fire sale and a major restructure are likely over the summer.

The board are due to meet on Monday but Bartlett insists administration, or entering into a Creditors Voluntary Arrangement, is not inevitable.

Both courses of action would see the Tigers start next season with a 10-point penalty, but Bartlett believes another route can be found.

He told the Hull Daily Mail: "We face a tough period to trade through the transitional period and readjust the business to life in the Championship, but I am confident we can do that.

"We are presently preparing plans to trade through and within that process is to significantly lower the wage bill and potentially to restructure other liabilities."

Hull were issued a stark warning by their auditors earlier this season that with their current liabilities, relegation could seriously threaten the club's ability to continue as a going concern.

Demotion from the top flight after a two-year stay was effectively confirmed on Saturday as Hull were beaten 1-0 by Sunderland at the KC Stadium.

Hull are now six points adrift of safety with just two games remaining and a hugely inferior goal difference to fourth-from-bottom West Ham.

Chairman Adam Pearson has already made a number of cuts since returning to Hull for a second term last November but his priority will now be to offload a number of high-earning players.

Pearson largely failed in his attempts to attract interest in several fringe players in the January transfer window, but notably turned down bids for key player Stephen Hunt.

That stance may now change and other senior players such as Jimmy Bullard, Geovanni, Anthony Gardner, Kamil Zayatte and Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink are likely to be put in the shop window.

The situation is a far cry from last summer when former chairman Paul Duffen and ex-manager Phil Brown spoke openly of their attempts to sign players including Michael Owen and Bobby Zamora.

Pearson made some forthright remarks last week about the financial recklessness of Duffen's tenure, particularly after winning promotion to the Premier League in 2008.

Remarkably, he also raised the possibility of reinstating Brown as manager. Brown was relieved of his duties last month and replaced by Iain Dowie, but remains on gardening leave. With Dowie only on a short-term deal, it could be the cheapest option.



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