Kilmarnock, which is almost £10million in debt, must settle a £16,000 bill by noon on Tuesday if it is to avoid a winding-up petition from Craig Stevenson, owner of Braehead Foods, over money he claims he is owed money by the Ayrshire club that has been outstanding since December.
On Monday night Glasgow firm MacRoberts Debt Recovery confirmed that they will send sheriff officers to Rugby Park on Tuesday to serve a winding-up petition if the club does not settle the debt after sending a winding-up letter via email on Friday.
Club chairman Michael Johnston said over the weekend that a percentage of the money was not due until later this month and accused Mr Stevenson of deliberately trying to embarrass him. There is some speculation that Mr Stevenson is trying to unsettle Mr Johnston ahead of Thursday’s annual general meeting, although this is denied by Mr Stevenson.
Mr Stevenson, who is a former season-ticket holder, has been criticised for threatening legal action over the non-payment which relates to supplies to the club’s Park Hotel. Mr Stevenson said in a statement: ‘All I wanted was for Michael Johnston to give me the courtesy of returning my calls and to say that payment would be made or to arrange a payment plan of, say, £100 per week’.
‘I’m a businessman and the bottom line is that I’m owed this money’ he continued.
Failure to pay the debt could result in the club entering into liquidation, although Mr Johnston has said that the club is ‘not in danger of liquidation or administration’ and is not ‘under any pressure to sell players.’