Catering Dispute Continues Between Heathcote & Anderson

  • July 28, 2018 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton chairman Ken Anderson believes both he and Paul Heathcote should pay outstanding monies owed to each other, in an attempt to settle an ongoing dispute.

On Friday, guests at the Bolton Whites Hotel discovered food and drink must be paid for with cash only, after Heathcote & Co withdrew a credit facility that would otherwise allow customers to pay by card.

In response, Mr Heathcote issued a statement via The Bolton News on Saturday morning, saying: "The difficulties that my club has been going through both in the past and more recently have been well documented. During all of this time we have always been supportive of the position.

"We find it disappointing and unfortunate that legal advice has been necessary to recover significant and escalating debt.

"This morning following the recent communications we spoke to our team and reassured them that we do not believe there is any grounds for contract termination and their jobs are secure.

"They do a wonderful job, are passionate about their roles and work hard, sometimes under very difficult circumstances.

"There is one simple solution to this issue."

Anderson, majority shareholder of Bolton Wanderers, added to a previous statement later that same evening, saying that whilst he hopes for a positive conclusion, he will stand by a decision to axe Heathcote & Co as the club's catering partners.

"Whilst the club has stated that no further comments will be made, as the matter is now in the hands of our lawyers, l must place on record my view that their statement is both misleading and factually incorrect," Anderson told

"I am unable to go into detail of their numerous breaches to the agreement, but I was left with no choice but to withhold the monies that have now become due to them over the last week or so and that in normal circumstances only became due and payable yesterday afternoon. Despite numerous assurances, SCC have failed to repay the substantial amounts long overdue to us.

"The agreement clearly sets out the procedures that either party can take in the event of a dispute, but once again, SCC/Heathcotes chose to ignore the process.

"For the record, we have no problem in paying any monies we may currently owe to SCC/Heathcotes, provided they first of all pay us the amounts long overdue to us.

"Indeed, in an effort to resolve the current issues quickly and promptly, l am happy to lodge the monies due to SCC/Heathcotes with their lawyers, if they first of all lodge what they owe us to our lawyers at the same time.

"As SCC/Heathcotes have said there is one simple solution to the current issue, so let's both pay the gross amounts due to each other with no further arguments about set offs etc.

"In the meantime, we still intend to terminate the agreement in view of their serious and ongoing breaches of the agreement.

"l have also noted their comments about the staff of SCC/Heathcotes and can also personally reassure them, that once the agreement is terminated, they will have the usual TUPE protections available to them when we take control of the food and hospitality operations.

"It is important to note that this dispute will have no adverse impact on our hosting of the Rugby League Challenge Cup semi-finals next Sunday and the start to the Sky Bet Championship campaign.

"However, we will insist on an undertaking from SCC/Heathcotes that they will operate in accordance with the agreement and no further breaches will occur. In the event that this undertaking is not forthcoming, we have alternative arrangements in place.

"It is unfortunate that we have had to take this course of action but recent events and the continuing serious breaches of the agreement left us with no alternative.‚Äč"

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