A CARPET cleaning company whose collapse left the Poole Pirates speedway team in a “vulnerable position” may have owed more money than previously thought.

A liquidator was appointed in September 2019 to handle the affairs of No 1 Carpet Cleaning, the Pirates’ main sponsor that season.

A statement of affairs prepared for the liquidator by director Richie Barratt estimated that 23 unsecured creditors were owed a total of £496,356.

They included Poole Speedway, which was owed an estimated £21,000.

Poole Pirates chief Matt Ford admits club is in a 'vulnerable position' after main sponsor goes into liquidation

But a progress report by liquidator Rosalind Hilton, of Adcroft Hilton Limited, said the eight claims she had received so far totalled £545,137.

HMRC – which was owed £317,575 in Mr Barratt’s estimate – had submitted a claim totalling £431,908.

The report said it was unlikely there would be a dividend for unsecured or preferential creditors of No 1 Carpet Cleaning Limited, which was based in Saxon Square, Christchurch.

"There were some matters that justified further investigation in the circumstances of this appointment. These included transactions that require further explanation,” the report said.

“These enquiries are ongoing. Further information will be provided to creditors as and when necessary.”

The report said the company’s intangible assets, plant and machinery, fixtures, fittings and computer equipment had all been sold to K4 Global Investments Limited, which was not connected to No 1 Carpet Cleaning, for £70,833.

“The director has confirmed that no formal valuation was undertaken prior to the sale of the assets. I am currently liaising with my agents, JPS Chartered Surveyors … in respect of whether the sale was fair value,” Ms Hilton wrote.

Mr Barratt is also director of other companies including No 1 Carpet Cleaning Franchises UK Limited, which is still active.

Speaking in October 2019, Poole Pirates owner Matt Ford said the collapse of No 1 Carpet Cleaning Limited had put the club in a “vulnerable position”.

“We are extremely saddened. I think people would have seen during the course of the season, or realised there was a problem with No1 Carpet Cleaning Limited,” he said.

“It sadly has left us in a vulnerable position in respect of moving forward for 2020.

“We are very reliant on sponsors to help keep the club afloat and we had been very lucky thus far in not experiencing any difficulties.”

He added: “Financially, it has easily been the worst year for the club since I have been involved.”