Former directors Peter Miller and Perry Deakin – the duo at the centre of the ‘nil-paid shares’ controversy could face bankruptcy proceedings to recover £350,000 in unpaid shares.
The news was revealed at the Supporters Club AGM. Bob Young and Steve Currie, of Begbies Traynor – who were appointed as the club’s administrators and are now liquidators of the business have confirmed that they will work on the case for free.
Young and Currie asked supporters to raise around £6,000 to help them take legal action against both men. The statement from Young and Currie read: “The joint liquidators are continuing to investigate the affairs of Port Vale Football Club in the period prior to administration and any potential rights of action against company officers.
“Whilst these investigations cover many areas we are currently focusing on the ‘Nil Paid’ shares that were issued in the months immediately prior to administration.
“It is clear to us that full payment for these shares has not been received from the recipients and we believe that Messrs Deakin and Miller, in particular, are liable.
“We have asked both to provide evidence of payments being made and, to date, this has not been received.
“In the circumstances we consider that it may be appropriate to instigate bankruptcy proceedings against both parties for recovery of these debts.
“In order to do this we will need to follow a legal process through the courts and will be required to pay certain costs including legal fees.
“Our solicitors have confirmed that that the costs of each Bankruptcy Petition would limited to no more than £3,000 plus VAT (to include a court deposit of £920). This excludes any time spent by us as liquidators.
“Unfortunately, there are insufficient unencumbered funds within the liquidation to enable us to meet the costs of bankruptcy proceedings and we are therefore asking the supporters’ club to assist us by raising this money.
“We recognise that many supporters have already lost money as either shareholders or creditors of the old club and with this in mind we will not seek to recover any of our own costs from supporters’ donations.
“We are not asking that this money is paid to us directly but that any funds raised are held by the supporters’ club until such time as required and requested by us.
“If bankruptcy proceedings were successful, petition costs are recoverable as a ‘first expense’ and would be repaid to the supporters’ club – and the individuals who made donations – from any assets recovered.
“As mentioned above, we are continuing to investigate a number of other matters although it would not be appropriate to go into the details of these at this time.
“What we can say, however, is that the joint liquidators are also looking into the possibility of taking action against a further three individuals associated with the former Valiant 2001.
“We remain committed to this process and are working on a contingent basis and without guarantee that our costs will be met.
“We thank you for any support that you are able to give which will be gratefully received.”