Failed Arena Television Leaves Trail of Losses and Faces Fraud Probe
Sports broadcaster, Arena Television, which collapsed recently, is understood to be behind large losses owing to a number of lenders and is also facing alleged fraud charges.
Arena Television was a major supplier of outside broadcast services including big-name events such as the Euro 2020 football tournament, the Wimbledon tennis championships, and Rugby’s Six Nations Championship, and worked for the BBC, ITV, and Sky Sports among others.
The company is understood to have borrowed heavily from lenders that included Close Brothers, Shawbrook, and HSBC, according to Sky News. According to Companies House accounts, Arena Television had a turnover of nearly £30 million, with earnings of some £14.99 million for its most recent filed accounts to 31 December 2019.
Arena’s collapse was said to be a shock to its employees as they were told they had lost their jobs earlier this month. The business was established over 30 years ago in 1988 by Richard Yeowart and owned a fleet of outside broadcast trucks. In 2016, it spent £20 million on three trucks that had state-of-the-art production technology.
Meanwhile, an unattributed source claimed that Arena could face investigation for fraud, with answers being sought as to why the collapse happened and where the borrowed money has gone.
A High Court claim is said to have been filed against former owner and managing director, Richard Yeowart and marketing director Robert Hopkinson. It is understood they are being sued for breach of fiduciary duty.
The source said alarm bells started ringing when an auditor sought information about assets used as security for loans. Serial numbers for company-owned equipment had been given, but it was later found these numbers did not exist.
No comment has been given by the former directors and Arena Television’s website and its social media accounts have been closed down.