Bartlett 'confident' over Hull future

Hull owner Russell Bartlett has claimed the club can “trade through” their current financial difficulties.

Hull owner Russell Bartlett has claimed the club can “trade through” their current financial difficulties.

The cash-strapped Tigers, £35m (€40m) in debt, face an uncertain future due to their impending relegation from the Barclays Premier League.

A player fire sale and a major restructure is now likely over the summer as City seek to readjust for life in the Coca-Cola Championship.

There have been reports the club could go into administration and chairman Adam Pearson has admitted entering into a Creditors Voluntary Arrangement is a possibility. Both options would incur a 10-point penalty next season.

The board are due to meet today to discuss the crisis but Bartlett believes another route can be found.

Bartlett told the Hull Daily Mail: “We face a tough period to trade through the transitional period and readjust the business to life in the Championship, but I am confident we can do that.

“We are presently preparing plans to trade through and within that process is to significantly lower the wage bill and potentially to restructure other liabilities.”

Hull were issued a stark warning by their auditors earlier this season that, with their current liabilities, relegation could seriously threaten their ability to continue as a going concern.

Demotion from the top flight after a two-year stay was all but confirmed on Saturday as Hull were beaten 1-0 by Sunderland at the KC Stadium.

Hull are now six points adrift of safety with just two games remaining and a hugely inferior goal difference.

Pearson has already made a number of cuts since returning to Hull for a second term last November but his priority will now be to offload a number of high-earning players.

Pearson largely failed in his attempts to attract interest in several fringe players in the January transfer window, but notably turned down bids for key player Stephen Hunt.

That stance may now change and other senior players such as Jimmy Bullard, Geovanni, Anthony Gardner, Kamil Zayatte and Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink are likely to be put in the shop window.

The situation is a far cry from last summer when former chairman Paul Duffen and ex-manager Phil Brown spoke openly of their attempts to sign the likes of Michael Owen and Bobby Zamora.

Pearson made some forthright remarks last week about the financial recklessness of Duffen’s tenure, particularly after winning promotion to the Premier League in 2008.

Interestingly, however, he also raised the possibility of reinstating Brown as manager. Brown was relieved of his duties last month and replaced by Iain Dowie but remains on gardening leave.

With Dowie only on a short-term deal, it could be the cheapest option.

More in this section


Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox