While 110SG stayed afloat, there was a chance some cash might be recovered. But a letter from 110SG directors to shareholders says that a decision by their bank to ‘call up’ (effectively withdraw) £100,000 of funding ‘has been catastrophic and the company have come to the decision that they cannot go forward without an immediate cash injection.’
The timing for the meltdown – in the middle of snooker’s showcase tournament, the World Championship, in Sheffield – could not be worse and the repercussions are being felt from The Crucible to a nowmothballed golf resort development at Lanark in Scotland.
Snooker insiders say there is a ‘mutinous’ feeling among a group of players still owed cash by the 110 Group or whose financial affairs have been affected by the company’s demise. It is understood that up to a dozen top-32 players could be out of pocket. Several are waiting for the world championship to end before speaking out.
Separately, shareholders in 110SG, including former snooker world champions Stephen Hendry, Mark Williams and Ken Doherty, are unlikely to recover anything from stakes they held, while footballer Barry Ferguson, of Birmingham City, and golfer Alastair Forsyth are among other investors with minority holdings that are now effectively worthless.
The proposed golf resort development in Lanark, involving 110SG, is also on ice. Some staff, including a greenkeeper, were hired by a co-developer, who now says the jobs as envisaged are not viable.
Firms’ fury at Wembley rip-off
The Football Association face a backlash from corporate box holders unhappy that they will have to pay £4,000 a seat if they want to watch the Champions League final, on top of their annual rental costs, which can reach £1million per box.
The small print in contracts makes it clear that ‘corporates’ are entitled to a limited range of events: football matches under the auspices of the FA, plus some other sport and concerts. But the official Club Wembley brochure is ambiguous, needing an asterisked note to qualify the statement that boxes ‘include tickets to all events at Wembley Stadium’.
Some box holders – including a building firm, a law firm and a bank – are furious. One holder told me: ‘The understanding was that this was a great deal with all these great events coming up, and you’ll get them even if occasionally you have to pay a little extra.
‘But £32,000 [the supplement for a box of eight people for the Champions League final] seems a lot.
‘If you offered box holders a get-out clause now, I suspect a lot of us would opt out. It’s too expensive and, given the economic climate, we wouldn’t bother again.’