EXCLUSIVE: Long Melford 12 month dissolution a ‘mix-up’ says vice-chairman

LONG Melford vice-chairman Simon Garden has refuted claims by Companies House that the holding company in charge of the football club is ‘dead’ with ‘no life imminent’.

He has stressed an ‘admin mix-up’ explains the revelation the holding company was dissolved a year ago by Companies House.

The latter told the Free Press the last annual returns it had received from the club were in August 2009 but Garden said the most up-to-date returns had been sent to them.

Companies House added an application for Administrative Restoration had not been filed at the time of going to press.

Garden has made clear there is no significant cash flow problem at the Ridgeons League club.

The Suffolk Senior Cup finalists’ director has admitted some players’ matchday payments had fallen behind but said there was nothing unusual behind that.

Companies House, which regulates, incorporates and dissolves limited companies, has told the Free Press Long Melford Football Club 2002 Ltd has been struck off for ‘consistent non-compliance’ with providing accounts and annual returns 12 months ago and ‘no sign of life is imminent’.

Garden told the Free Press he could not remember how he heard the company had been dissolved, which he says has only recently come to the club’s attention, and added: “It is obviously an administration problem that is being resolved.”

Companies House provides information about limited companies to the public, including on its website.

A spokeswoman for it said it has very stringent and long processes in place before reaching a decision to dissolve a company, on the grounds that relevant documents had not been received.

In regards specifically to Long Melford Football Club 2002 Ltd, she said: “It was dissolved on March 1, 2011.

“As far as we are aware that is the information and it has dissolved and that is the current standing.”

Asked if Companies House is planning on immediately restoring the company due to an administration error, she answered: “I can confirm this company has been dissolved and there is no imminent sign of life.”

She added: “This company is no longer in existence – this company is dead.”

When her answers were relayed to Garden, he told the Free Press it was a misunderstanding that would be quickly sorted out and there was currently no cashflow problem at Long Melford.

Garden said some players’ payments had fallen behind schedule and this was ‘no different to other non-League clubs’.

It comes as Long Melford are celebrating reaching their first cup final in seven years after beating Felixstowe United 2-0 in the Suffolk Senior Cup final at Hadleigh United on Saturday (see page 70 for match report, pictures and reaction).

The final is set to take The Villagers to Ipswich Town’s Portman Road to play Ridgeons League First Division title-chasers Whitton United, though a date has yet to be announced.