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Anaglogs Daughter
19 Mar 12 02:40
Date Joined: 05 Jan 10
| Topic/replies: 29,477 | Blogger: Anaglogs Daughter's blog
By Seán McCárthaigh

Ivan Yates is set to quit Newstalk and abandon his media career as he faces bankruptcy over debts of about €3.5m.
The broadcaster and former government minister yesterday admitted his future was "exceptionally bleak" and "full of uncertainty", and the Irish Examiner understands he may move to Britain to avail of less stringent bankruptcy laws.

Neither Mr Yates nor Newstalk would confirm that he will quit his popular Breakfast show, but his move to Britain is virtually certain as AIB demands full payment of the debt by May 13. He is expected to announce his resignation from Newstalk within weeks.

In Dublin yesterday, he told unsecured creditors of his failed Celtic Bookmakers business that there was no money to pay outstanding debts of €1.4m.

The Irish Examiner columnist, who is being charged €4,000 in weekly interest payments by AIB, said he doubted his ability to repay the bank within two months. He revealed there was a disagreement between himself and AIB about the level of the debt. He claims it is €3.4m while the bank is seeking €3.6m.

If he is unable to pay the debt, Mr Yates and his wife Deirdre risk losing their home and farm at Blackstoops near Enniscorthy, Co Wexford, where his mother, Mary, 80, also lives.

The ex-Fine Gael minister, who has previously indicated he was considering moving to Wales for bankruptcy reasons, declined to reveal his plans apart from saying he was in ongoing talks with AIB, which is seeking control over all his assets and earnings for the next 10 years.

However, he declined to confirm or deny that he was set to quit Newstalk.

Mr Yates said he always regarded his media career — which includes a role as a stand-in presenter on TV3’s Tonight with Vincent Browne — as "transient". "It would be folly at 52 years of age to make promises about future income I might not be able to honour," he said.

He said AIB was "very ruthless" and claimed it was "to date impossible to negotiate with the bank".

Eight creditors including five landlords of his betting shops attended yesterday’s meeting, which saw a liquidator appointed to Celtic Bookmakers.

Mr Yates said the sale of 31 of 47 outlets in his betting shop chain had raised about €3m, out of which almost €500,000 went on legal and receivership costs.

He said he has not had control of the business since Jan 2011, when it was put into receivership. He blamed the collapse of the firm he had run since 1987 on a 50% downturn in retail betting and a move towards online gambling as well as less disposable income among consumers, despite reducing the chain’s annual costs from €17m to €11m.

Mr Yates said he was one of the firm’s largest creditors as he was owed €160,988. Both Mr Yates and his wife each paid themselves an annual salary of €25,992. However, he said he had not taken any director’s remuneration or bonus from the company since 2008.

Newstalk managing director Frank Cronin said he was in constant communication with Mr Yates about his role in the station but that it remained "a private conversation".

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Report hammy March 19, 2012 9:59 AM GMT
I remember once Mr Yates boasting at a management conference in Killarney that he too was ruthless to his own staff,making them clean their own shops,girls working 12 hour days on their own,no Christmas bonus.Its funny,what goes around comes around.For someone who does alot of spouting on Newstalk,in reality he didnt look after his business,overpaid for Ubet and Joe Molloys average shops.
Report trooper thornton March 19, 2012 10:22 AM GMT
His downfall was the Molloy shops think he paid 1/2 million or more per shop.
Now someone tell me how on earth could you pay that money for the shop Molloys had in Castleknock Village.
the size of your average bathroom and the place was falling apart

Lost the run of himself like a lot of others
Report Fayzer March 19, 2012 10:26 AM GMT
Ignoring the online element and over paying for shops
Report jumper March 19, 2012 11:56 AM GMT
I feel sorry for this guy although I hope his ever increasing humility isn't just a show. When I saw no online presence and Celtic shops appearing all over the place 7/8 years back I had to laugh. He really became the embodiment of Celtic Tiger thinking in that things would just keep on going up.
Report frank60 March 19, 2012 12:09 PM GMT
Well put jumper, he had some great specials at times in his shops ,4 times the odds for LUCKY 15; the best one was for money back if you had a lone winner [5/2 or more] in a yankie as he tried to take on the nearby offices of P.P. and ladbrookes. i hope life works out for him.Happy
Report Diamond_Joe_Quimby March 19, 2012 1:29 PM GMT
How much for the Castleknock shop??

That place was absolutely tiny. Box room size. I genuinely wouldn't pay anything more than 50k for the shop and business as a whole
Report Diamond_Joe_Quimby March 19, 2012 1:30 PM GMT
50k being an absolute rob as well
Report trooper thornton March 19, 2012 1:40 PM GMT
CELTIC Bookmakers has bought the Joe Molloy chain of betting shops for ?5m.

CELTIC Bookmakers, owned by former government minister Ivan Yates, has bought the Joe Molloy chain of betting shops.

The deal marks the first step of a campaign to double group turnover to the ?200m mark over the next three years.

Financial details of the deal were not being divulged, but it is believed the purchase price was slightly under the ?5m mark, having been fuelled by interest from industry giants such as William Hill and Ladbrokes.

The deal marks another step in the ongoing consolidation of the Irish betting industry and follows the purchase earlier this year of the Harneys chain by Ladbrokes.

It marks the first major acquisition by Celtic - but it is unlikely to be the last.

Mr Yates outlined plans to invest about ?10m, bringing the number of shops in the group to between 50 and 60 over the next three years.

The plan will envisage staff rising from around 200 to 300 and turnover growing from just over ?100m at present to more than double that.

The Celtic Bookmakers boss said the move to a 1pc tax paid by the bookmaker has boosted profitability across the industry and helped fuel a surge in betting activity, with turnover running at some 20pc ahead of last year.

Controlled by Sheila Pomeroy, the Molloy business was founded by her grandfather Joe Molloy in 1913.

Mr Yates said the family were anxious to see the business remain in Irish ownership and that, but for this, he might have had to pay even more than the "very expensive" price agreed.

Apart from its ten shops, it also operates a fledgling telephone betting operation, having established its own call centre just three years ago.

Mr Yates said this was something which his firm is looking to develop in response to demand from his own customers.

"Molloys have all the equipment," he said, adding that the call centre was of no interest to the other potential buyers who already operate large-scale call centres themselves.

Describing the purchase as a "done deal", Mr Yates said his firm would take over the operation of the business at the start of September.

Celtic Bookmakers operates 37 shops around the country and Mr Yates described the Molloy business as an excellent geographic fit.


Up until this deal Celtic has bought just seven shops, preferring to develop greenfield sites itself.

But Mr Yates pointed out that the industry is now undergoing a period of consolidation and, in many towns around the country, it is not possible to justify the addition of a new shop on a virgin site.

"You cannot guarantee that it will achieve ?60,000 a week," he said, adding that existing shops offered greater potential for development.

Apart from expanding at home, Celtic Bookmakers has also been active in the UK.

Mr yates has opened two shops along the M4 corridor, in Swansea and Bristol.

- Pat Boyle
Report trooper thornton March 19, 2012 1:43 PM GMT
By Pat Boyle

Wednesday August 09 2006
Report wildmanfromborneo March 19, 2012 8:36 PM GMT
I am surprised at Hammy once for his harsh words and also the fact he was at a management course.
He seemed to me a brilliant politician and a brilliant broadcaster and straight and it seems that straightness will lead to his downfall.All the other businessmen seem to go broke and never look back but because he played a fair game he is going to be hammered,villainy is always rewarded.
Report neill d March 19, 2012 8:46 PM GMT
My father regarded him as a good Minister for Agriculture alright. He is talented and savvy enough that his future will be secure.
Report Fayzer March 19, 2012 9:24 PM GMT
his future is far from secure Neill, not a good place to be, the banks are playing serious hard ball. AIB are under intense pressure to squeeze back as much as they possibly can, he'll lose that farm/home and anything else they can get a court order for.

When you go personal guarantor in business you take the ultimate risk, in one way you have to admire him taking such a gamble for his business and employees.
Did he do it for them or for his pride? Probably a bit of both.

Imagine if he had ploughed all that money into online and forget about the shops? He'd be the Irish bet 3 6 5 and on easy street.
Report wildmanfromborneo March 19, 2012 9:41 PM GMT
Pity the poor Mammy she is going to lose her house and farm.
Report dashero March 19, 2012 9:45 PM GMT
The majority of his shops were loss making, he was trying to build up an impressive number of shops to make him attractive for a takeover, I believe VC sniffed around but laughed when  they heard Ivan's valuation, which comes as no surprise when you see how much he overpaid for shops himself..
Report neill d March 19, 2012 9:49 PM GMT
Yeah i understand that alright and his future earnings will probably be garnished as well, but you'd think the capacity he has to drag in six figures every year from his media work should see him alright. agree Fayzer, he was badly advised on the online score and whether he thought he was being noble going personal guarantor or whether he was chasing his losses, the laws surrounding the formation of companies were there to protect the likes or Ivan and for some reason best known to himself he chose not to avail of them,
Report Newmanix March 19, 2012 10:26 PM GMT
Its an awful position to be in, and he seems a good person.  Lets face it there are many worse offenders about who have to do without their "only wearing a new shirt once ever", and not having to leave the country he loves and helped.   A bit naive in the bookmaking business, but he is not the first and wont be the last.  An arber buddy of mine never had a problem getting on, unlike the other plonkers.
Report kincsem March 19, 2012 10:37 PM GMT
Seems like turnover was the holy grail.  Too many forget that profit is it.
Report GANT007 March 20, 2012 12:27 PM GMT
Hindsight is a wonderful thing.........I bet he wishes he took the builders route.....tell suppliers, customers and banks to take a run and jump and still live the Celtic Tiger their own homes.
Report Vubiant March 20, 2012 1:19 PM GMT
I will arise and go now
And leave my debts unpaid
And Irish taxpayers can clean up
The mess that I have made.

Farewell to Co. Wexford
And the Newstalk studio
I assure  you all my faithful friends
I've no choice but to go.

But when I'm safely bankrupt
Some new funds I'll be bumming
Who knows -if I get lucky -
There could be a second coming !Grin
Report frank60 March 20, 2012 1:56 PM GMT
W.B. YEATS is face down after that Vubiant,Laugh
Report neill d March 20, 2012 2:00 PM GMT
Report neill d March 20, 2012 2:01 PM GMT
Kevin Myers is gutted he didn't think of that one
Report Anaglogs Daughter March 21, 2012 6:59 PM GMT

Wednesday March 21 2012

FORMER Cabinet minister Ivan Yates is teetering on the verge of bankruptcy as AIB Bank pursues him for more than €3 million still owing in the wake of the collapse of Celtic Bookmakers.

The politician turned businessman and media commentator has indicated that he may move to Wales to be declared bankrupt there. Otherwise, he faces the prospect of having to hand over most of the earnings from his €75,000 Dáil pension and from his work as a broadcaster for the next ten years to the bank which is charging him €4,000 a week in interest.

Enniscorthy's best known personality, presenter of Newstalk Radio's breakfast show, had no hope of repayment to offer creditors who met him last week at the Pearse Hotel in Dublin. The liquidation of Celtic - which once had more than 60 shops - raised more than €2 million for AIB but that still leaves the bank at the head of the queue.

Ivan Yates has been residing at Sandymount in Dublin with his wife Deirdre, while he also has an address at Swansea in Wales. In the meantime, his mother Mary who recently turned 80, continues to live at the family home and farm in Blackstoops, which was also the headquarters of the bookmaking empire before its collapse last year. It is now practically certain that she will be the last of the family to occupy the house in Blackstoops as AIB holds the land and building as security for the money it advanced to the ex Minister for Agriculture.

The newspaper columnist and radio commentator has received rave reviews for his appearances as substitute host on TV3'S ' Tonight with Vincent Browne '. But speculation is mounting that he may soon be no longer available for such work if he cuts and runs to the United Kingdom to avail of less rigid bankruptcy laws there. Executives at Newstalk have admitted that they have been keeping an eye on the situation facing their star man, who has successfully anchored the breakfast programme since 2009. ' The creditors meeting is just another staging post on a pretty miserable route,' Ivan Yates told reporters as he left the Pearse Hotel. Among those left emptyhanded is the Department of Social Protection which forked out more than €300,000 in redundancy payments to Celtic Bookmakers staff when the business went wallop. The Blackstoops property is reported to be worth at least €2 million despite the recession and it is owned jointly by Mary Yates and her son Ivan who is aged 52.

Report triumphoragony March 21, 2012 10:17 PM GMT
serves him right...remember the days of bragging of putting 60.000 on istabraq
Report neill d March 21, 2012 10:20 PM GMT
That was the time he was pulled up though rightGrin
Report murphyjust. March 22, 2012 11:55 AM GMT
dashero     Joined: 27 Dec 05
Replies: 866 19 Mar 12 21:45 
The majority of his shops were loss making, he was trying to build up an impressive number of shops to make him attractive for a takeover, I believe VC sniffed around but laughed when  they heard Ivan's valuation, which comes as no surprise when you see how much he overpaid for shops himself..

some sh1te talked on here still i see...
Report Anaglogs Daughter March 23, 2012 11:36 AM GMT
Another ex-bookie in trouble, Barney Eastwood-owned companies placed into administration
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