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TalentNation creditor calls on Scottish Enterprise to pursue Sampson


By The Drum, Editorial

October 25, 2011 | 2 min read

The first creditors meeting for liquidated sports website TalentNation was held yesterday, where one creditor called on Scottish Enterprise to pursue its owner Steve Sampson, after it lost around £1m in funding the site.

The meeting, which took place over a month after the official liquidation of the website by the Court of Session, saw Grant Thornton, which has been appointed as liquidator for the company, tell creditors that Sampson was proving difficult to track down and had been uncooperative of the process.

It is also understood that only a partial list of creditors had yet been compiled and that the company owed £320,000, mainly to former members of staff, although according to court documents the company had made a loss of nearly £2m by April 2010 ahead of further significant losses being made.

The complete list of investors had also not yet been drawn up.

Scottish Enterprise has moved to liquidate the company having invested £1m in order to develop the site which aimed at promoting sport to young Scots, and involved many big name Scottish and English based footballers, including Scott Brown, Ricardo Fuller and Thomas Sorensen.

Court documents also claimed that Sampson has moved £575,000 out of the TalentNation account and into his own personal account in two transactions in December 2009.

Sampson has denied accusations that he had ‘misappropriated’ funds meant for use by the business, but one creditor called on Scottish Enterprise to purse him further following the completion of the liquidation process.

“By calling in liquidators Scottish Enterprise effectively wrote off £1m of public investment. They also prevented ordinary creditors pursuing TalentNation through the courts, as you can’t sue a business that is bust. What I want them to ensure now is that they do not let Steve Sampson off the hook, embarrassing as that process may be for them,” said the creditor.

A Scottish Enterprise spokesperson said: "Our priority at this point in time is to allow the liquidator to proceed with winding up the company and it is unlikely any decision on further action will be taken until the liquidation is complete."

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