Football: Goldberg companies to go into liquidation

MARK GOLDBERG, the troubled chairman of Crystal Palace, will put seven of his companies into voluntary liquidation tomorrow after they ran up debts of millions of pounds. Although the move is intended to stem his losses, it is bound to fuel speculation that his grip on the club has been fatally weakened.

The entrepreneur is likely to face angry creditors during a series of meetings at the offices of David Rubin & Co, insolvency practitioners, in Finchley, north London, although Goldberg himself is the biggest creditor and the majority shareholder in each company.

The companies that will be folded are MG Investments Ltd, Sports Merchandising Corporation Ltd, Sports Management Corporation Ltd, Sports Management Corporation Group Ltd, Sports Management Consulting Ltd, Sports Marketing Corporation Ltd and Land Developments Corporation Ltd.

Rubin told the Independent that in each case Goldberg had invested in the companies but had not taken an active role in running them. Combined losses, he said, ran into millions but he could not be specific about the final amounts.

"There are substantial liabilities," he said. "We will know how substantial on Friday when all the statements of affairs are marshalled and put together. He is the largest creditor and he asked us to look at the companies, which we did. Our advice was that the companies are insolvent and they ought to be liquidated. He has taken that advice.

"Mr Goldberg was not running these companies. These were companies financed by him and run by other people and when he discovered that these other people might not have been running these companies as perhaps he could have run them, he then called us in to see what was going wrong.

"The problem is that with such a lot of money being haemorrhaged in these companies, it is perhaps the explanation as to why he couldn't put the money into Crystal Palace that perhaps it needed."

Asked if the losses were enough to break Goldberg financially, Ruben replied: "No, I don't think so. This is a very busy guy... but he has given us absolutely brilliant co-operation. He has given us all the documentation we would have needed, he has seen us at a moment's notice whenever we needed to see him for background information so we could do our job."

Ruben said his firm had been working closely with the administrators at Crystal Palace, where affairs had crossed over.

Goldberg was not available for comment.