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Southend United: Ron Martin settles Brady debt out of court
SOUTHEND United chairman Ron Martin has reached an out-of-court settlement with the club’s former chief executive, Tara Brady, over a hefty debt.
Mr Martin was facing possible bankruptcy – despite the debt, believed to be about £300,000, being owed to Mr Brady by Southend United – because he had personally guaranteed security for the loan.
Yesterday, at Southend County Court, deputy district Judge Fiona Scolding dismissed the petition after the court heard Mr Martin and Mr Brady had reached an out-of-court settlement before the hearing.
The Echo can reveal a creditor’s petition for Mr Martin’s bankruptcy was lodged with the court by Mr Brady in June.
It related to money the businessman injected into the club, and the Fossetts Farm stadium project, while he was a director from December 2010 until March last year.
No details of the repayment schedule or evidence were disclosed in court as they both signed a confidentiality agreement ahead of the hearing.
A bid by Mr Martin to have yesterday’s hearing held in private on confidentiality grounds was rejected by Judge Scolding after she heard submissions from both sides and an Echo reporter.
Following the case, Mr Martin said he applied for a private hearing to ensure the confidentiality of the agreement.
He added: “I cannot comment on the agreement, but it was a debt owed by the club.
“I remain always prepared to step forward and pay any debts on behalf of the club when it is not in a position to do so.”
Kiera King, representing Mr Brady, told the court: “The matter is subject of an agreement so the petition should be dismissed and there will be no application for costs.”
Judge Scolding then dismissed the case.
The case was the latest in a series of financial problems for the club and Mr Martin, who fended off a previous bankruptcy bid in the Nineties.
The club this month avoided its ninth winding-up petition by HMRC over late taxes within the past three years.
Mr Martin, s o m e t i m e s assisted by supermarket giant Sainsbury’s, his business partner in the Fossetts Farm proposal, has bailed out the club a number of times.
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