Dulwich Hamlet FC’s landlords write off club’s debt

Admin (13 July, 2018) Regeneration

Meadow Residential says it has written off the Dulwich Hamlet's £750,000 debt - but the club says it has always questioned it

6826Champion Hill, the home of Dulwich Hamlet FC

Dulwich Hamlet FC’s landlords have told the club they have written off its purported debts of £750,000.

Meadow Residential LLP, which owns Hamlet’s Champion Hill site, wrote to the club’s board members on July 9 to inform them it would not be pursuing the debt.

In one of the letters, Healey Development Solutions (Dulwich) Limited, a subsidiary of Meadow, wrote: “In light of the financial difficulties faced by Dulwich Hamlet Football Club Limited, [we have] taken the decision not to pursue the debts owed to it in the sum of £154,997.74.

“This letter is a waiver of that debt and confirmation that no further action will be taken.”

A second letter, sent by Champion Hill Limited, stated: “In light of the continuing financial difficulties faced by Dulwich Hamlet Football Club a decision has been taken by Champion Hill Limited to waive those debts.

“We hereby confirm, therefore, that Champion Hill Limited will take no action to collect any monies owed to it by Dulwich Hamlet Limited.”

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However a spokesperson for Dulwich Hamlet told the News the club had “always questioned the purported debt”.

“We’ve got our legal representatives looking into this,” the spokesperson said. “We’ve always questioned the debt and that we were ‘unsustainable’ and it seems like this made up debt has mysteriously vanished.”

In response, a spokesperson for Meadow said: “The debts are clearly identified in the club’s annual accounts submitted to Companies House.

“These accounts are signed by a director of the company, who has a statutory responsibility to confirm that the accounts are accurate.”

Dulwich Hamlet continues to groundshare at Tooting and Mitcham United in Merton as Meadow and Southwark Council remain in a deadlock over its Champion Hill site.

The club said it was served notice on its licence to play at the ground by Meadow on March 5, when it also received a £121,000 bill for backdated rent.

Meadow bought the site back in 2014 with the intention of regenerating the land for new homes, but plans were never approved.

The developer has now drawn up a revised proposal which includes a home for the club and 224 new homes.

However, in March this year Southwark’s cabinet unanimously agreed to explore options for securing public ownership of the site, including potentially using a compulsory purchase order to forcibly buy the land.

The local authority wants to build council homes on land adjoining the stadium at Edgar Kail Way, while also securing the future of the 125-year-old non-league club.

A spokesperson for Meadow added: “We want the council to either buy the site at proper residential value or let the application proceed and let the club come back to Champion Hill.

“Effectively [Southwark Council leader] Peter John is now a one-man road block and he needs to get out of the way. The ball is in his court.”

Councillor Johnson Situ, cabinet member for growth, development and planning, said: “Southwark Council made a good offer to Meadow in March to buy the Champion Hill site and secure the future of Dulwich Hamlet Football Club. Meadow have not even acknowledged our offer.

“Their ongoing refusal to engage with the council is the issue here – the ball is with them.

“The council is on the side of DHFC and has been all along – we are open to any discussions that will find a long term solution for the club.”

 

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