Sportsman in administration but bosses claim jobs are safe

Daily sports betting newspaper The Sportsman has gone into administration.

Sports Betting Media Ltd, the publishers of The Sportsman, has appointed Andrew Andronikou and Peter Kubik of UHY Hacker Young as administrators with immediate effect.

Chairman Jeremy Deedes said: “Negotiations with interested parties continue to secure the long-term future of the paper. In the meantime The Sportsman will continue to appear on the newsstand every day.”

A spokesman said no jobs were under threat and wages were sound.

He said: “We hope that it shouldn’t be more than a couple of weeks. Administration guarantees the wages so everyone’s safe in that respect and contracts stay as they are at the moment. So It’s actually more positive than it sounds.

“Obviously it sounds very bad but in the long run it’ll be OK. The investors have chosen not to liquidate the company so it shows that going forward they are very much involved. They haven’t taken that route so it does suggest confidence behind the product.”

The Sportsman launched in March with an aim of hitting a 40,000 daily circulation but its last ABC figure (for May) was 16,315 – a figure which dropped to 12,762 when bulk give-aways are discounted.

The newspaper announced earlier this month that it was pulling out of the ABC system after managers claimed there were a “number of inconsistencies, most notably in the Irish sales returns”.

The Sportsman launched on March 22, 2006, with initial private funding of £12 million.

It employs 80 journalists and Charlie Methven, the former Daily Telegraph diary editor, is editor-in-chief.
Launch managing director Max Aitken left the project after two months.

Picture: Methven, Deedes and Aitken as the first edition of The Sportsman rolled off the presses.


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