United take Tigers to court

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SHEFFIELD United are taking Worksop Town to court over an alleged debt of less than £3,000. The dispute goes back to the loan of former Blades keeper Steve Hernandez to the Evo-Stick Premier team during the 2007/08 season.

The Star understands that Worksop chairman Jason Clark says he settled all the club’s debts when he took over from previous chairman John Hepworth in May 2010.

However, the figure United allege is owed wasn’t part of the paperwork and Clark insists that despite talks between the clubs no conclusion has been reached.

He said: “This is an alleged debt that pre-dates my time at the club by a few years. I have discussed this with Sheffield United and they have insisted on full payment. Despite significant gaps in the paperwork to sustain their view I have also offered to either come to an agreement on a reduced amount, by way of settlement which they have declined.

“In addition I have offered to utilise pre-season friendlies to fund this. They have said this is not acceptable and that there will be no more pre-season friendlies anyway. They also insisted on taking 50 percent of the profits from our recent pre-season friendly. Which defeats the object of having it in the first place. If they want to pursue court action that is their prerogative.”

United finance director Craig Burns said: “I can confirm we are pursuing a long overdue debt from Worksop Town FC, we have endeavoured to be as flexible as possible since the debt initially arose. We have worked closely with Worksop to assist them in settling this debt initially through a contra deal whereby part of the balance due was offset against ground hire.

“However as continued negotiations have failed to result in settlement of the debt and even following SUFC participating in a pre-season friendly which generated sufficient funds to clear this debt, SUFC have been left with no other alternative than to pursue this debt like any other debt owed to the club.”