Gosport Borough FC pays off festival firm debt with FA Trophy cash

Councillor Mark Hook
Councillor Mark Hook
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WE’RE debt-free and looking forward to next season.

That’s the message from the chairman of Gosport Borough Football Club after it paid off a man who ran a fundraising event two years ago.

Chairman Mark Hook said Dave Smith, of DLP Festivals Ltd, had been paid an undisclosed sum settling the matter.

The club had been ordered by a court to pay £14,000 to Mr Smith’s firm over the fundraising event in May 2012.

But the pair have now reaching an agreement and settled out of court.

Mr Hook said the club has cleared its debts after receiving cash from reaching the FA Trophy final at Wembley.

Mr Hook said: ‘When we got money from the FA Trophy we made sure the debts had been paid off.

‘It’s an undisclosed sum that was agreed between Dave and Gosport Borough Football Club.

‘It’s pleasing to resolve this and all other outstanding issues that there’s been.

‘The club is debt-free. We’re looking forward to next season.’

The club made it to the final of the FA Trophy at Wembley on March 23.

Mr Hook, also leader of the borough council, previously said the club had brought in £64,000 from the cup run.

Speaking to The News, Mr Smith said the time leading up to the settlement had been a struggle. He said: ‘I’m just delighted it’s all over.

‘It’s taken time but he did say that with the cup money he would pay the bills so he’s offered a settlement agreement.

‘I always wished the club all the success. I’ve always put the club first.’

The agreement signals the end of the long-running saga that saw enforcement officers turn up at the club’s ground at Privett Park.

As reported in The News, the officers found only a photocopier and metal gazebo – and didn’t take them.

The club was first ordered by Northampton County Court to pay the debt in a judgement issued on October 24, 2012.

In December Mr Hook had said the club would pay off the debt by May this year.

But it leaves Mr Smith facing two more court battles.

As reported on Friday, he claims he is owed £13,000 by Paul Cobb, the director of Gosport Festivals Limited.

The pair ran GosFest together at Walpole Park in Gosport last August.

But a row erupted over unpaid supplier bills.

At Portsmouth County Court on Monday the pair were warned by a judge that they were wasting time.

Yorkshire firm Dezign Audio is claiming Mr Smith owes it £6,000 from the festival.

He faces a separate hearing over the matter.