Neuchâtel’s troubled football club Xamax escaped being declared bankrupt at a court hearing on Wednesday.
The judge turned down an application submitted by lawyer Ralph Isenegger who claims that Xamax owes him SFr400,000 ($454,000). The money is half of the proceeds for the transfer he arranged of a Xamax player to the Bernese club Young Boys.
Isenegger suspects that Xamax has not paid him because it is bankrupt. The club's lawyer threw doubt on Isenegger's credibility.
In a brief statement, the judge gave no reason for his verdict, but said he would give the two parties a written explanation in the next few days.
A statement on the Xamax website called the decision “A fine victory”.
It said the judge had been able to distinguish between a debt of “doubtful validity” and the proofs provided by the club that it is not in default of payments.
A different case earlier on Wednesday had turned out less favourably to the club.
It was fined SFr20,000 by the disciplinary commission of the Swiss Football League (SFL) for failing to respond in full to the SFL’s request for information about the budget for 2011-12 and a guarantee to cover a possible deficit.
The decision could have been worse for Xamax: it could have been excluded from the Axpo Super League.
Another case against Xamax is pending at the SFL, since the club has not yet submitted proof that it has paid its social insurance dues for August.
Yet another case is looming, if it does not confirm that it has paid salaries and social insurance for September, and its accident insurance for the third quarter. Xamax has to provide these proofs within the next five days.
Xamax owner, Chechen businessman Bulat Chagaev who took over the club in May, blames the banks for blocking access to his funds, preventing him from paying his debts. He says the media campaign against him is the reason for the banks’ behaviour.
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