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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Wallace's New Politics runs into an age old problem

The news that MSJ Wallace Ltd owned by Mick Wallace TD have gone into receivership is a great sadness to those who worked for Mick as well as himself. Nobody takes any pleasure for a receivership. Following the collapse of Celtic Bookmaker this is a further blow to business in the county. Recently I’ve noticed Mick Wallace as an ever present in the chamber of the Dáil and I wondered how it was that he had so much available time to debate as many issues as he could at a time when his companies were in difficulty. One political cynic said to me that he should enjoy it while it lasts for him and that the posters should be stored for the winter. Speculation on his future as a TD is very premature, I can think of a few TD’s whose companies collapsed in the past and they never had to resign. But I don’t want to kick someone when they’re down.

I sensed during the week that there could be difficulties when I listened to Mick Wallace warn on local radio that unless more support his soccer team Wexford youths that the team couldn’t continue as it is. It didn’t sound like his usual optimism. One of the protections that builders in NAMA have is that they have the strength to negotiate with their Irish banks as the banks need these assets to work their way through and realise some money for them on an ongoing basis so that they recoup something. As a result they have sacrificed their triple A rating status. Not so with the foreign banks that Mick Wallace relied on. Foreign banks owe you nothing, they will protect themselves first. Whatever patience Rabobank had with him is now gone. Mick Wallace has lost control of the companies that Rabobank funded and now the bank will dispose of those to realise something now. Mick has maintained a low political profile since he was elected in Wexford Town, I've yet to meet him at a function or meeting in the 3 months since the General Election but I look forward to meeting him before I step down as Mayor next month.

I support Wexford Youths and do go to watch matches when I can. This year the attendance has dropped significantly as the teams home form has dropped. As one wag pointed out to me “Youths haven’t won a home match since the IMF came to town”. The 2 home games I’ve attended this year have seen poor performances. All credit to him for what he has done for soccer in Wexford in terms of his personal commitment down through the years. There are players from Co Wexford who’ve had a chance to play at a higher level who could otherwise not achieve that. I’ve listened of criticism of him from people in political circles who will say that it wasn’t his money actually it was the banks money all along. This misses the point that there is no money to be made in Irish soccer and if he had invested the banks money elsewhere he would almost certainly have been in a better financial position to deal with his creditor banks. As a soccer fan I'm worried about the teams future in League of Ireland Soccer given the collapse of Sporting Fingal

Unlike the Celtic collapse where outlets were bought and the chain saved, there doesn’t seem to be many interested in buying property right now. To complicate matters further there are loans from other banks elsewhere. How will these banks respond to Rabobank if Rabobank are seen to get the lions share realised from the receivership? I hope that the final whistle hasn’t blown on Mick Wallace.

2 comments:

Rory said...

Nice entry Joe. Mick is OK in my book. If we had a few more people with his energy and community spirt we might be better off.

I aslways thought that locating his soccer complex so far from town was a mistake, I can't go to games because I don't drive, that said I would hate to see the club fold.

Rory

Joe said...

I've always supported the club when I can. To be fair the team has performed well in the last few seasons, this year its another story. i don't support any UK clubs as I've no cultural link to any UK city.
I hope the team can pull through licensing at he end of the year. There are 3 separate issues, the future of the team, the future of his companies and his future as a TD. I wish him well, its poor to kick someone when they're down