SOLIHULL and Birmingham Bees have been given a further three weeks to save themselves from folding.
The Damson Park club should have paid the taxman £93,000 by this Wednesday - but they avoided going into liquidation after being handed a 21-day reprieve.
It leaves the board with the desperate task of finding new investors soon. If they don’t, it could signal the sad end to a club that once had so much promise.
As the News was going to press, the Bees’ were also having crisis talks with Rugby Football Union bosses to discuss the club’s survival strategy.
In their game last Saturday, a number of first team players refused to step onto the pitch because they had not received any salary for a number of weeks.
The side was further diminished following the recent departures of Mark Woodrow, Craig Voisey, Rob Connolly, Darren O’Reilly and Shaun Pammenter. Reece Spee is also in negotiations with local rivals Moseley.
Despite this, Russell Earnshaw’s second string put on a brave display, but it fell well short and saw them get beat by Rotherham Titans 0-29. Disheartened supporters of the cash strapped club had little to cheer in that game, and even when the Bees did get over the line, it was ruled out for a forward pass.
But fans may feel a little more upbeat this week after the club’s new advisers, Baker Tilly, helped the club gain a High Court decision on Wednesday to keep the tax man at bay. And the recovery specialists believe that Birmingham and Solihull have a good chance of survival.
Bob Bailey, a partner at Baker Tilly, said that the three weeks gives the club the “necessary breathing space to prepare a recovery plan.”
He added: “The emphasis will now be on drawing up and implementing a course of action which is in the best interests of the club’s members, players, investors, fans, staff and creditors. Over the next few days, we will also be holding detailed talks with potential backers and would welcome contact from any further investors who have not, as yet, registered their interest in what could once again become a profitable rugby operation.”
Any interested persons can contact Mr Bailey on 0121 214 3100 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
* The Bees face Bedford Blues away tomorrow (Saturday, October 10).