By Nick Harris
SJA Internet Sports Writer of the Year
15 April 2011
The 110 Sport Group, the management company that handles the affairs of a string of the biggest names in snooker, is about to be liquidated, sportingintelligence has learned today.
The company is expected to make a public confirmation next week that it has gone bust, and this website understands that it will go out of business owing cash to a large number of sports stars not just from snooker but golf, football and other sports.
The news comes on the eve of snooker’s showcase event, the 17-day World Championship, which begins at The Crucible in Sheffield on Saturday.
A subsidiary of the 110 Sport Group – 110 Sport Management – went into liquidation recently. That raised questions over the viability of 110 Sport Group and another of its subsidiaries, 110 Sport TV, which received £709,000 in public money to help fund an internet broadcasting service that struggled to get off the ground.
Lee Doyle, chairman of 110 Group, told me last month the future of the group couldn’t be guaranteed but he wouldn’t comment on who was owed money.
Former clients of 110 include Sir Chris Hoy (who parted terms with them a few months ago), while the 110 website, under its clients list, says at the time of writing (Friday, 5pm) that the firm’s clients include golfer Alastair Forsyth, snooker players including Allister Carter, Stephen Hendry, Ken Doherty, Marco Fu, Mark Allen, Matthew Stevens and Peter Ebdon among others, curlers including Olympian David Murdoch and an array of footballers including Gavin Skelton and Steven Thompson.
Fraser Niven, a director at 110 Sport, told me this afternoon that barring an unlikely intervention, the 110 Sport Group will go into liquidation next week. Asked how many sportsmen were owed money, and the chances of them recovering it, Niven declined to mention numbers but said: “In any situation of liquidation, they will become unsecured creditors.”
The 110 Group sent a letter to shareholders earlier this week claiming that its bank’s decision to effectively call in £100,000 of funding had had a “catastrophic” effect on the company. An insolvency practitioner from Begbies Traynor has already been appointed as provisional liquidator.
Sportingintelligence understands that at least nine of the players (of 32) about to commence action at the World Championships in Sheffield could be financially affected by the collapse of the 110 Sport group, either because they are owed winnings or logo money, or because their financial affairs, including tax matters, are somehow involved in the 110 meltdown.
That does not bode well for the mental well-being of the players involved as snooker’s main event of the year gets underway.