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Saints on verge of nadir after Pinnacle pulls out of deal

SoccerNews in English Premier League 30 Jun 2009

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Former FA Cup winners Southampton are on the verge of going out of business after The Pinnacle group – which included legendary Saints player Matt Le Tissier – withdrew their interest in buying the club on Tuesday.

Pinnacle’s interest waned once the Football League – the body that oversees the clubs outside the Premier League – insisted that they could not appeal against a 10 point penalty imposed last season which will see them start next season in League One minus 10 points.

This was imposed once the 1976 FA Cup winners – whose highest ever league finish was second in the old First Division in 1983-84 season – parent company went into administration in April.

The Administrator Mark Fry is now hoping to sell to another buyer and is understood to be in talks with a Swiss consortium.

Le Tissier confirmed on Tuesday the group has withdrawn from negotiations – amid fears that the club may now be only days away from going out of business.

“We’ve been trying ever so hard but we’ve been banging our head against a brick wall,” Le Tissier told BBC Radio Solent.

“I’m very sad, but hopeful that Mark Fry can find someone to take over the club. Everybody’s worried, we’ve all been working very hard but it’s getting to the point where it’s very desperate.”

Fry hinted last Friday that if no bids were forthcoming by the end of this week, he would have to consider winding the club up.

A statement issued on behalf on Mark Fry in response to Pinnacle’s withdrawal read: “We remain hopeful that a sale of the club will be completed in a short period of time.

“It is a complex transaction which involves numerous stakeholders and a satisfactory solution for all parties is not simple to achieve.

“It is positive news that the football club should be in a position to pay the wages this week.

“We are working to a very short timeframe but wish to reassure everyone we are working round the clock to ensure the club’s survival.”

Once a club has entered insolvency proceedings, the Football League must approve any takeover for the club’s League share to be returned, allowing them to play in the League and its associated competitions.

Last summer, the League refused to allow Rotherham, Bournemouth and Luton to begin the season unless they accepted points deductions following spells in administration – Luton failed to overcome such a heavy penalty and were relegated at the end of the season from the league.

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The Premier league is an association of twenty English football clubs. The individual clubs contest with each other through the league’s football competition. Based on the performance and the points scored, the clubs are ranked.

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