Salford winding-up petition adjourned until new year
A winding-up petition against Salford City Reds has been adjourned until January 7.
The petition was brought 12 days ago by Cheshire-based management consultants Steuer Greggson over an unpaid bill and was presented in Manchester today.
Salford agreed a settlement with the company before the hearing began but the petition remains active after HM Revenue & Customs joined the action, along with two of the club’s former players, Luke Patten and Vinnie Anderson, who are both owed wages.
“Luke was substituted as the petitioning creditor and Vinnie is supporting the petition, which was adjourned to the 7th of January,” said Richard Cramer, the players’ legal representative.
A Salford spokesman confirmed the new date but said the club expected the matters to be resolved before then. He said the City Reds would be issuing a statement later today.
Salford are thought to be at an advanced stage in talks to secure new ownership and investment aimed at resolving their financial crisis.
Patten, who retired at the end of the season and has returned to Australia, and Anderson, who is expected to play his rugby in France next season, are each thought to be owed around £40,000, while HMRC are thought to be seeking more than £50,000 in unpaid tax.
The players’ wage bill for October was settled last week but, according to Cramer, Patten and Anderson are owed back pay relating to a salary sacrifice arrangement which they entered into.
“They don’t want to see any harm come to the club but they did what they had to do,” said Cramer. “It’s been a bit a bit of a worry for both of them.
“They were hoping a deal would have been finalised by now and they could have been paid up.
“I am cautiously optimistic that they will get their money but they need the deal to go through.”
The cash-strapped City Reds moved into the new City of Salford Stadium earlier this year but have constantly struggled to keep their heads above water and have made no secret of their desire for new investment.
Long-serving chairman John Wilkinson is thought to be prepared to hand over control if a suitable deal can be finalised.
Talks have been on-going between club bosses, Salford City Council and ground owners Peel Holdings.
One man desperate for the deal to go through is head coach Phil Veivers, who has yet to start his recruitment for 2013.
Patten and Anderson were among seven players to have left the club at the end of the 2012 season.
Veivers, who arrived back from a trip to his native Australia on Friday, has lined up five potential signings and is waiting for the go-ahead to complete the paperwork.
“I keep being told it’s going to happen,” he said. “I’ve got players waiting to come and they’re all hungry.”
The Reds will report back for pre-season training on November 7 and Veivers says Australian centre Joel Moon will be among them after rejecting an offer from Leeds Rhinos.
“He’s definitely coming back and that’s massive for us,” Veivers said. “He was really good for us prior to his injuries.”
Meanwhile, Salford say payments will be made to Patten and Anderson before the re-arranged hearing.
A spokesman said: “The club maintains that payments owed to these players will be made on time and in advance of the second court date.
“This matter relates to contractual payments not due to be made until the end of November.
“The club are still in discussions regarding future investment.”