Often you only find out what was really wrong with someone after they have died and the doctors have had a chance to peer inside them.
Similarly, you only find out what was really going on inside a company when the administrators have come in and performed their autopsy.
So this report (below) from the administrators looking into the collapse of Sport Media Group plc (formerly publisher of the Sunday Sport and Daily Sport newspapers) makes grimly fascinating reading.
Some 30 journalists (out of 74 staff made redundant) are among the hundreds of creditors. Judging from this they will be lucky to get anything and will have to depend on the statutory minimum redundancy payouts provided by the government. My understanding is that because the company went out of business at the start of the month (1 April) they are at least not owed much actual wages.
Interesting nuggets from the report include the revelation that David Sullivan paid just £50,000 for the Sunday Sport – which he relaunched on 8 May. He sold Sport Newspapers to Sport Media Group for £50m in autumn 2007 – the report states that £40m of this came from placing shares on the Alternative Investment Market and a further £10m was deferred.
The report also reveals that Natwest Bank is owed £6m and that there are no plans to hold a creditors’ meeting.
The NUJ is seeking three-months notice pay for its members on the paper and is calling for a creditors’ meeting to be held. According to the report, this will require 10 per cent of creditors to call for one and for them to stump up the cost of holding it.
Here is the full document – with some of the interesting bits highlighted by me.