Sportsman announces five redundancies

The Sportsman has made five redundancies and administrators expect to make another announcement within seven to 10 working days regarding the future of the title.

Simon Goodley and Geoff Marsh from the sports desk are the journalists to leave, while three other job cuts include one receptionist and two other administrative positions.

Acting managing director Mark Maydon has left and Press Gazette understands that Robin Holt could be appointed as new managing director when the next announcement is made.

In a statement one of the administrators, Andrew Andronikou of chartered accountants UHY Hacker Young, said: “We are extremely confident that the negotiations over the sale of the business and its assets, which have been taking place with a number of interested parties, will be concluded within the next seven to 10 working days.

“The support of the paper’s key suppliers and the dedication of the paper’s staff has meant that the transition of the company into administration has gone extremely smoothly. This has allowed us to fast-track efforts to secure the future of the newspaper.”

“Although some redundancies have been made, the majority of the 100-strong team will have their jobs safeguarded, as it is anticipated that we will proceed with a purchaser who is committed to investing a substantial sum towards working capital.”

Andronikou and Peter Kubik, also of Hacker Young, have been in charge of the Sportsman’s finances since 20 July, when the troubled title went into administration.

In July, Kubik said that the paper was looking for reinvestment of at least £1 million, which could come from new buyers or more cash from exising investors.

The Sportsman launched in March with initial private funding of £12 million and a stated aim of hitting a 40,000 daily circulation to break even.

But its last ABC (for May) was 16,315 — a figure which dropped to 12,762 when bulk give-aways were discounted.

There have been speculative reports that Irish investor and racing enthusiast Dermot Desmond, already a Sportsman shareholder, could provide some or all of the required reinvestment.

When the Sportsman went into administration Kubik said that small newspapers had expressed an interest and that there had “been interest from people who do a similar type of paper.”

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