Tale Of Two Statements

Wednesday, 23 January 2002, 0:01
3 mins read

First off Tony Petty: ” Mel Griffin and his consortium has failed to make any contact since signing the Heads of Agreement for the purchase of Swansea City on Friday evening” Griffin responds to this “Both myself and Jim Moore spoke to Tony Petty last Saturday and I spoke to him again this morning.”

Griffin continues: “The investment consortium (Griffin’s consortium) were approached by local businessmen who started that they were interested in helping save the club and on that basis asked the investment consortium to secure the acquisition of the club so that a Joint Venture agreement could be pursued, with the local consortium controlling the football club and the investment consortium dealing with any property issues.

“As of 12 noon today (22 January 2002) the investment consortium fulfilled their responsibilities based on an agreement made with the local businessmen and once again committed support the club financially providing monies were also forthcoming from the local group.

“In conjunction with various other events surrounding Swansea Football Club as disclosed by due diligence carried out by the Investment consortium, it has left the consortium with no option but to withdraw their offer for the club.”

The due diligence is a point I would like to raise. There are two things that I believe this refers to. First off, the news leaked from the Vetch yesterday that Petty had taken £6,000 from Saturday’s gate receipts to cover the credit card payment made to the Vale of Glamorgan. It is believed that this was in contradiction to the agreement made on Friday. Also, it is rumoured that Tony Petty moved the goalposts of the deal. Originally agreed with Mr Petty was an up front payment of £50,000 with a further £150,000 due if and when any development was made on the Vetch Field. Petty, however is rumoured to have asked for the full £200,000 up front today in the conversation he never had.

Griffin continues “The consortium are very disappointed that final satisfactory terms dealing with the due diligence matters could not be resolved in negotiations with Tony Petty but as a result of these circumstances, the consortium have decided that Mr Griffin and Mr Moore cease any further negotiations on their behalf forthwith.”

Petty however says ” Some other fact presumably exists that will not allow the consortium to reap the financial rewards they might initially have envisaged. ” I am now consulting lawyers over the position that remains as a result of the Heads of Agreement, signed between Mel Griffin’s consortium and myself, to consider whether and legal action will be taken.”

It’s a tough call -exactly what happened today at the Vetch? Petty’s downfall on this deal could well have been started when he took the £6,000 yesterday and we hear rumours tonight that he has taken over 10 times this in the past. Maybe greed took over and he realised that there was to be no development of the Vetch Field and decided to take the full amount on offer but up front instead of what was agreed? Who knows.

Some say Griffin got itchy feet about the council statement, Petty certainly does but that is not the way that Griffin sees it. One thing is for sure, Tony Petty no longer has this avenue open to him. There seems only two options left – the Mel Nurse consortium or liquidation. Can Petty afford liquidation seeing as it will possibly end his involvement with football in Australia? I would hazard a guess that he can’t.

But he will not get the same kind of monetary offer from the Mel Nurse consortium I wouldn’t think. And why should he. Don’t believe that the club is in a better state as he claims – did we owe money to the Inland Revenue, VAT, PFA, the Police and god knows who else when he arrived? Not that I remember knowing about anyway.

Griffin concludes his statement “In the light of this the consortium wishes Swansea City Football Club and all its supporters the very best success for the future, and wish to put on record their withdrawal from the negotiations. This will allow the local businesses, headed by Mel Nurse, the uncontested opportunity to follow negotiations through, in an endeavour to take full control of the club.”

It is very possible that Petty’s greed has left him with only one choice now and that is to hand to the Mel Nurse consortium. Whether he does this or not remains to be seen but this is a very crucial time for Swansea City.

This was a deal that was all but done and dusted last Friday but the moving of the goalposts today has killed it off. I would urge Tony Petty do do the decent thing but this generally involves a decent man and on the last three months, can anyone say Tony Petty fits that description?

Images courtesy of Getty Images, Athena Picture Agency and Swansea City Football Club.
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