Bailiffs called in after football club fails to pay bills

Dave Smith
Dave Smith

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A FORMER councillor owed thousands by Gosport Borough Football Club has brought in bailiffs to get his cash after some of the club’s cheques bounced.

As reported, a county court ordered the club to pay Dave Smith’s firm DLP Festival Management £14,210 after DLP ran a fundraising event in May 2012.

The club’s chairman, Mark Hook, last night said it had paid back around half of the debt and he meets Mr Smith on a regular basis.

But Mr Smith said he had received just £1,000 and promises of monthly payments have not been met.

Mr Hook said the cheques had bounced due to it being near the start of the season.

Mr Smith told The News: ‘I’m actually quite upset by it all. This is a last resort for me. The debt is nearly two years old.

‘I’ve had 18 months of empty promises, I’ve had bounced cheques.

‘It’s pushing me to the wall, I’ve had to cash in my pension to pay these debts.’

A High Court writ dated November 28 has instructed Mr Smith’s enforcement officers, The Sheriffs Office, to seize goods to get the cash owed.

It comes after Northampton County Court Bulk Centre ordered the club to pay the debt in a judgement issued on October 24 last year.

The club, at Privett Park, in Privett Road, Gosport, had not responded to the claim and was warned it could face having its goods removed and sold.

Mr Hook, who is also the leader of Gosport Borough Council, said the club has no assets.

He said: ‘We’re working with him to sort this out. The football club doesn’t have any assets, the ground’s owned by the council. All we’ve got is a couple of kits and the players.

‘We’ve tried to explain this to David but he needs to do what he thinks is right.’

Mr Hook added that the club had been paying back the money to DLP Festival Management and hoped to continue.

As reported in The News in January, the club had owed the council £7,000 in rent arrears. Mr Hook said the arrears had now been paid.

And he added he hoped to pay off the debts owed to Mr Smith by May.

‘I’m working with Dave on that, and if we can do it sooner obviously we’d like to do it sooner,’ he said.

‘It’s this time of year, as I say, it’s a cashflow situation. Gosport has always been keen to pay off our debts.

‘We always have done and will continue to do so.’