ON THE BRINK OF DISASTER
Last-minute talks save Airdrie from admin
Airdrieonians were plunged into turmoil this week after a cash crisis left fans fearing for the club’s future.
The Advertiser understands that chairman Jim Ballantyne threatened to resign after the Supporters Trust refused his demand to hand over £ 10k to help pay players’ wages.
Airdrie were brought back from the brink of administration this week after the club chairman threatened to walk away.
Sources close to the Airdrie Supporters Trust revealed that Jim Ballantyne demanded £10k set aside for children’s season tickets in association with the KitAid project be paid immediately to bridge a gap in cashflow and help cover this month’s wages.
The funds are normally paid to the club throughout the season, and when the Trust refused to pay up he threatened to leave the Diamonds.
Majority shareholder Tom Wotherspoon stepped in to negotiate a compromise between officials and the Trust on Monday – with the gap having to be plugged by today ( Wed). They have now come to an agreement on the budget that will take them through the upcoming season, with Wotherspoon and Ballantyne both involved in covering costs.
It is understood Wotherspoon is continuing to try to sell his shares and that there will be Ballantyne involvement at New Broomfield as long as the majority shareholder is backing the club.
Bo t h Ba ll a n t y n e and Wotherspoon did not respond to the Advertiser’s request to provide comment. However, a spokesman for the Trust described talks as “positive”.
In a statement, the Trust said: “As many of you will know, representatives from Airdrieonians Supporters’ Trust have had several meetings with the club’s board of directors and majority shareholder.
“These meetings have focused on plans for the coming season and beyond. Recent meetings have focused on immediate cashflow issues.
“We are pleased to say that these issues have been resolved and there are now a number of elements in place to secure the short, medium and long-term viability of the club.
“In the absence of solid facts, there has been a lot of speculation and conjecture. This is natural.
“We apologise that it has taken time to be able to share details with our members and the wider fanbase.
“But much of our discussions were fluid and delicate and it was important that we were confident they had been resolved before we shared them.”
The Trust will now hold a meeting with fans and chairman tomorrow (July 6) at the Airdrie Working Men’s Social Club at 7.30pm.
The group hope to discuss plans for a new manager and for the playing staff this season.
Finances will also be a hot topic including budgets for this season and majority shareholder Wotherspoon’s plans.
The Trust added: “It is and will always be our primary objective to support the health and ongoing development of the club.
“The fanbase and the trust have a pivotal role to play this season and beyond.
“We thank you for your patience and look forward to seeing as many of you as possible on Thursday.”
Quit threat Jim Ballantyne
Rescue Majority shareholder Tom
Talks Jim Ballantyne had threatened to quit