COM­MENT

The Courier & Advertiser (Dundee Edition) - - NEWS - GRA­HAM HUBAND BUSI­NESS ED­I­TOR

The chick­ens are fi­nally com­ing home to roost for Thomas ‘John’ Sto­dart.

More than three years has passed since the then Muir­field Con­tracts chair­man used his po­si­tion of power to move cash out of the dy­ing firm.

He knew – or at least he should have known had he heeded the warn­ings from his for­mer fi­nance man­ager – that Muir­field was fac­ing the fi­nan­cial abyss.

But in­stead of shift­ing heaven and earth to put the com­pany back on an even keel and en­sure a pros­per­ous fu­ture for a long­stand­ing and re­spected busi­ness, Sto­dart in­stead pulled the rug out from un­der­neath a com­pany he was charged with lead­ing.

That’s un­for­giv­able in my book and the fact the cash was then used to put down-pay­ments on lux­ury prop­erty in the United Arab Emi­rates is an­other as­ton­ish­ing be­trayal of the tal­ented and loyal work­force whose liveli­hoods were shat­tered as Muir­field went down.

Brass neck just sim­ply does not cover it.

And now it ap­pears the In­sol­vency Ser­vice agrees.

It has taken more than three years to get here but you can take it from me that a nine-year di­rec­tor­ship ban is the Ser­vice’s equiv­a­lent of the prover­bial chuck­ing of the book.

That Sto­dart will not be able to op­er­ate as a com­pany direc­tor in the UK un­til 2027 – or be able to use a stooge to do so on his be­half with­out risk­ing fur­ther cen­sure – is good news for the pri­vate sec­tor in Scot­land.

It sends a strong sig­nal that wrong­do­ing will not be tol­er­ated and those who per­pet­u­ate it will have to an­swer for their ac­tions.

The ques­tion now is whether this is the end of the Muir­field story or whether fur­ther pro­ceed­ings may be raised against Sto­dart.

The dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion process is di­rected un­der civil law and Unite the Union – who now rep­re­sent Muir­field’s for­mer UCATT af­fil­i­ated work­ers – has called for a crim­i­nal probe into Sto­dart’s con­duct.

Whether that will hap­pen is not clear. But I will watch with in­ter­est.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.