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Graham Martin of Kroll Buchler Phillips
"I have to ensure that Morton trade profitably."
 real 14k

Friday, 15 December, 2000, 20:18 GMT
Morton call in the administrator
Morton have been hit by another financial crisis
Morton will be run by accountants for three months
Morton's future hangs in the balance once again with the club having called in an administrator.

Owner Hugh Scott told the players on Thursday that accountants will run the club for the next three months while he seeks a buyer.

Calling in an administrator is an indication that the club is in financial difficulties.

But it is also confirmation that they believe the club can break even, as it is one step removed from calling in the receiver.

The worst case scenario is that if a buyer does not emerge within three months the club could then be allowed to slip into liquidation.

Losing patience

English-based businessman Mike Peden has been linked with a takeover since the start of the season, but any dealings have been shrouded in mystery and Scott remains in charge.

Hugh Scott hopes to recover debts
Hugh Scott hopes to recover debts
Scott had hoped to have sold the club by now, but going to the Court of Session to appoint an administrator suggests that he is losing patience with Peden.

Scott said: "We could have continued with me paying the wages this month, the next month, the next month and the next month but that's not the way to run a business.

"We simply had to bring some kind of finality to it. It's the right thing for the club."

The present owner also added that the club is "very concerned about the failure of the Scottish Football Association and the Scottish Football League to help recover 300,000 of debts owed by other clubs".

Morton were in financial trouble at the beginning of December, when it was revealed that players and staff had not been paid their wages for the previous month.

An eleventh-hour deal involving the Players' Union was brokered then that has allowed the club, who are bottom of the First Division, to fulfill their fixtures.

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