Hatters takeover go-ahead

Creditors vote paves way for Bill Tomlins' group to gain control

Luton Town's creditors have today approved proposals put forward to pay off the club's debts, paving the way for the Bill Tomlins Sports Management bid to take over the Hatters.

After two lengthy meetings at Kenilworth Road this morning, the club's administrative receivers secured the required majority of votes from creditors to accept a deal to pay back 10 per cent of monies owed by the Town.

Although shareholders voted against the deal at the first meeting of members, the vital vote from creditors was finally secured just before 2pm.

Speaking straight after the decision, a spokesman for insolvency practitioner Barry Ward confirmed to Lutononline that the required majority had been obtained.

He said that vital to the outcome had been major creditor Hatters Holdings – which is owed more than 11million – voting for an unsecured debt for that full amount.

He said Hatters had also agreed not to rank for a dividend, meaning monies were being made available to help complete the next stages of the takeover process.

Hatters Holdings is a company with shares 50 per cent owned by Trust in Luton and 50 per cent owned by Gary Sweet, an officer of Trust in Luton.

The Bill Tomlins Sports Management bid will now need to be sanctioned by court on Monday before it can be officially approved by the Football League next week.

Trust in Luton chairman Tony Murray told Lutononline after the meeting: "We are delighted with the outcome and we are looking forward to working very closely with the consortium."

Official press releases from Barry Ward, Trust in Luton, the Bill Tomlins Sports Management bid and Luton Town Football Club are expected to follow later today.