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Town Could Face Legal Action Over Back Rent
Town Could Face Legal Action Over Back Rent
Tuesday, 22nd Mar 2011 15:38

Town could face legal action regarding unpaid rent dating back to 2004 relating to the 643% rise revealed by Blues chief executive Simon Clegg yesterday. After the club and Ipswich Borough Council were unable to settle on a new rent, the matter went to an arbitrator who recommended that the figure jump from £15,000-a-year to £111,000 and, it has now emerged, backdated it to 2004.

Council deputy leader John Carnall says the club have so far not paid them back rent of just over £500,000 and that the situation could ultimately result in legal action: “We have been reasonable with them. We have said we would be prepared to accept it in three instalments.

“We felt we had to put up the rent, we have a duty to council taxpayers, and we set up an independent tribunal to which the football club came to work out a reasonable rent.”

Carnall has said Town offered £1 million for the freehold of the ground – although they already own the actual stadium – but the council felt that that valuation was well below its true worth and it wasn't considered.

The Blues have not added to Simon Clegg’s comments on the increase made at yesterday’s season ticket press briefing.

Photo: Action Images

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hampstead_blue added 15:47 - Mar 22
Tell the council to jump in the river.

That's outrageous.

itfc1981 added 15:56 - Mar 22
Tories, ggggggggggggggggggggggrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

DoobDude added 15:56 - Mar 22
Go on then, let the council take us to court and try and get us declared bankrupt. They wouldn't dare. Call their bluff!

tractorblue99 added 15:59 - Mar 22
Lets hope clegg and evans are good at dealing with this sort of thing...

CavendishBlue added 16:01 - Mar 22
Now let me guess?

None of you actually care because you aren't IBC taxpayers.

The club , as well as many other organisations who rent from them, have been getting away with blue murder(pun intended) for donkeys years under the weak previous regime.

If you honestly think that 15k is a fair ground rent then is it any wonder this club is in the state its in?

sotd78 added 16:10 - Mar 22
What cannot be quantified is just how much revenue having ITFC in the Town brings to the Borough Council. Car parking fees, expenditure in shops and eateries, etc.
It is hypothetical really but if Town were able to up sticks and play elsewhere would a town pay for the privilege - American franchise style?
In which case perhaps the Borough should be paying the club to stay!

KembleBlue added 16:11 - Mar 22
CavBlue, the idea of peppercorn rent is that theres overall benefits but still a transaction.

Obviously £15k isnt arms length transaction, but for the council and the surrounding economy, the travel and subsistence costs from Town and away fans gives greater overall benefit, not a case of blue murder at all.

rayman_10 added 16:14 - Mar 22
I'm no good at this stuff... But can't we just buy the land then we wouldn't have this probem :s

chripswich added 16:18 - Mar 22
The club is a community facility much like any therefore used by many and not by others..
The club brings in revenue to the town - to the council and town traders..
and is a internationally recognised symbol for a small town that otherwise would be irrelevant.. it should be treated as such..only ten years ago we hosted inter milan and could perhaps do the same again...

the rent is ridiculous...

campowasgod added 16:24 - Mar 22
@sotd78, good point - the local authorities in Madrid certainly have an arrangement with Real Madrid , obviously recognising the huge impact the club has on the finances of the city.
ITFC obviously on a smaller scale , but would be nice to see the club and IBC working together for the good of the town .
Flipside however, if it is agreed that ITFC owe them money , they really should pay - the rest of us have to.

cwb91 added 16:29 - Mar 22
Absolutely disgraceful behaviour by the Borough Council - sadly not unsurprising considering its a Tory-led rat bunch.

The Club is the heart of the town - without it - heaven knows where this Town would be. The Borough Council is there to operate in the best interests of the town and it's residents. The Council has a duty to the football club as well as the towns residents.

When people think of Ipswich, they think of the football club. People only ever visit here, for the magnificent and historic football club. Something the Borough used to pride itself supporting.

'Reasonable' - they wouldn't know that word if it smacked them in the face. I will take this fight to them - the football club is the town's beating heart - it appears however the Council believe otherwise. Barbaric cuts and totally unreasonable behaviour from a formerly respectable council.

Be ashamed Ms Harsant and Mr Carnell

Tractorog added 16:30 - Mar 22
An annual rent values of £111k means the land is valued at about £2.75m
When Kieron is paid £80k a week there are worse investments than to buy the land.
It is certainly not worth kicking up a big girly fuss about the increase, simply make a counter offer of immediate payment dating back to 2006 and see if they settle. IBC will win their case so the most you'd be able to discount is the cost of the legal team for 2 or 3 days... hence about £220k off the total for settling with no more ado.

tractorboy2434 added 16:33 - Mar 22
We would be foolish to pay this, I cannot see how they can realistically backdate the rent increase, 15K may not be the going rate but neither is 111,000 backdated for 7 years. Outrageous.

I think I would say 'See you in court'

Tillz9 added 16:48 - Mar 22
I may be a little stupid here but how can they happily take the rent on offer and then say by the way we want an extra x amount for the period ?? It seems completely unfair to back date this to 2004 when the agreement for the old rent was already in place or have I missed something ??

tractorboybig added 16:52 - Mar 22
remember this when the elections come.
Where does your councillor stand to day?
Ask them.

jas0999 added 17:07 - Mar 22
One for the senior management to sort. £15K seems rather low for rent, but I am by no means an expert - suspect ME has a team who will sort this.

Ant added 17:13 - Mar 22
We should never let the club buy the land. That is the start of a slippery slope: whatever you might think of the current owners, once it is sold the club would be open to the sort of thing which has happened to Wimbledon (and to Cambridge United).

Marshalls_Mullet added 17:13 - Mar 22
Sounds fair enough, was decided by an ARBITRATOR who acts IMPARTIALLY.

Pay your dues ITFC.

The rent will have be awarded in accordance with the lease provisions and to reflect market rent.

fourth added 17:21 - Mar 22
To back date 7 years is merely to say that the Council have been ineffective and foolish in their dealings and that the law here is not certain. In these circumstances, they should not benefit.
To evict the Football club would be extremely foolish.
The rent of £110,000 is probably reasonable. The Council would do well to consider accepting their past behaviour has been ineffective which is liable to continue unless they arrive at agreement for future rents.

mo_itfc added 17:22 - Mar 22
if they offered £1 000 000 in 2004 for the freehold, that would have been a fair price back then!
This is bad press for Ipswich as a town!!! this should have been dealt with in private...

brogansnose added 17:23 - Mar 22
Perhaps im missing something here but how come the council have not picked up on this before, 7 years seems a long time to then come knocking on the door. Perhaps its because Evans backs the Lib Dem's.

However if we owe the money then pay up as its only going to effect rate payers of Ipswich and impinge on their services but if we ever win anything, unlikely i know, then when the council want to bask in a bit of reflected glory tell them to do one.

GreenwichBlue added 17:28 - Mar 22
I accept an increase in rent - the land has been revalued and values have increased nearly everywhere over the years. However, how can any business plan for the future if an overhead is arbitrarily increased 743% overnight? Particularly if it's one you are beholden to. And worse, they tell you that you should have been paying this rate for the last 7 years!

If you're going to link rates with land value you should have to revalue more reguarly and have incremental changes.

I thought we signed a new 99 year lease a few years back? Surely there's something in there to stop them charging whatever they like? What if a Naaridge fan became Chief Exec at the council and decided the land was worth £10million a year or more...

I never did understand the £25m or however much was spend on the north and south stands when we didn't own the land beneath them. We can't move them elsewhere!

fourth added 17:57 - Mar 22
Of course if ITFC wanted to consider another location, they would have to apply to their current landlords for development consent.
Which is an insupportable situation. The Council are in a monopolistic situation which needs to be challenged by law

Mark added 18:03 - Mar 22
I'd hate this to go to court, as the legal fees would be costly and would need to either be paid by Ipswich Town FC or the Ipswich tax payers so either way it is unsatisfactory.

It does seem strange that this has been dropped on ITFC with all the back rent now payable. As to whether the rent is fair, well, I like the view that ITFC benefits the community and we surely want our elected representative to help the club florish for the wider benefit of the town. Perhaps the policitians would like to make some statements on this? Elections in May!!

I am glad the Council owns the land from the point of view that our club cannot be bought, asset stripped and sold for housing. We must never let that happen and at least the Council does (or should) protect it from those sort of private investors.

BlueVelvet added 18:18 - Mar 22
In the days of the the former CEO at IBC this would never have happened - maybe it is because of him and the close relationship he had and that he was an ITFC fan that the rent was kept down, who knows, maybe IBC council tax payers should be asking some tough questions of their borough councillors - why was ITFC let off on £15k a year - a lot of people pay that or more on a mortgage each year for their 3/4 bed house - I don't think IBC have secured best price or value for their land holding, they have let their council tax payers down. As for Clegg, well he should have planned his business around the market rate for such land holding lease.

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