REVEALED: Seven year ban for former Wrexham FC chairman

Reporter:

Phil Robinson

A FORMER chairman of Wrexham FC has been disqualified from being a director of any company for the next seven years.

Official proceedings were brought against Mark Guterman by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) for his activities during the time he was a director of the club in the early 2000s and which ended with it going into administration owing creditors almost £800,000 in December 2004.

Mr Guterman, whose address in court records is shown as Monaco, has given an undertaking to the BIS that he agrees to being disqualified from becoming the director of any company for a period of seven years.

It was given on March 16 and will come into force on April 6 this year.

According to a spokesman for the government’s Insolvency Service, the disqualification has the same force as a court order.

As a result of the agreement no further proceedings will be taken against Mr Guterman over his conduct at the club, added the spokesman.

If he does contravene the disqualification agreement he could face criminal prosecution and/or have to pay the debts of the company.

In the schedule of unfit conduct which accompanies the disqualification, Mr Guterman agrees that he devised and/or implemented a scheme, together with a business associate, wherby the property assets of the company were “intended to be and were exploited”, the primary purpose of which was “for my own personal benefit and that of my business associate rather for the benef of the company”.

The BIS is also currently taking proceedings against another former Wrexham FC chairman and director, Alex Hamilton, in connection with his time at the club.

The case opened at Manchester’s Civil Court of Justice on Monday and the Insolvency Service spokesman said it was due to last for up to six weeks.

He added that Mr Guterman has not appeared in court and was not likely to appear.

Wrexham MP Ian Lucas said he welcomed the undertaking which disqualifies Mr Guterman.

He added: “I am very pleased that this undertaking has been given and it shows that action can - and will - be taken against those who fail to fulfil their role as directors properly.

“Many people who follow Wrexham Football Club will join me in welcoming this news.”

In 2005 a crucial victory was won by the club’s administrator, David Acland, of Begbies Traynor, over fans’ bid to have the club’s Racecourse ground saved from demolition and returned to Wrexham FC.

Its ownership had been transferred to property developer Mr Hamilton who, along with partner Mr Guterman, was threatening to sell the site for retail.
 

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