Digital sports platform 20Four goes into liquidation

Digital sports business 20Four has gone into liquidation less than two years after launch.

The business was originally started by Scott Briggs, Anthony McConville, Anthony Dunlop and former Carlton player Adrian Gleeson, and led by CEO Chris Haigh, and was created to show what life is like as a professional athlete in competition and everyday life.

20Four officially launched in 2017

Doubt about the future of the sports site, which boasted talent such as Benji Marshall, Paul Gallen, Billy Slater, Tayla Harris and Lizzie Welborn, ignited after a notice was made by parent company, Chapmans Limited, in September. 

It has now been revealed 20Four went into liquidation on 21 December, with Chapmans – which had a 39% stake in the business – informing shareholders on New Year’s Ever. An external controlled, Roger Grant from Dye and Co has been appointed.

Mumbrella understands in the months leading up to liquidation, the business had failed to pay staffers’ leave balances, invoices and redundancy costs, despite employees finishing with the business in September. Mumbrella also understands at least one athlete was not paid the amount they were owed.

Despite the closure of the website and the office, the business was understood to be operating while it waited on items such as rental bonds and the sale of IP.

Mumbrella understands full-time staff were paid their salary until the last day of employment, but others’ payments had not been received despite directors Gleeson and McConville, and silent investor Chris Wilson, promising staff for months that this money would come in.

Wilson, an investor who was not part of active management but who handled all payments, insisted in an email all wages owed to staff had been paid, adding directors were in the process of finalising accrued annual leave. During this time, Mumbrella saw messages from Wilson telling staff who were owed entitlements that the company has “no money”.

But as the company was not in administration, staff were unable to receive the money from the government, under the Fair Entitlements Guarantee (FEG) scheme, which runs to make good shortfalls when staff are the victims of company failures.

Mumbrella understands some former employees of the business have still not been paid.

Over the past year, Chapmans Limited’s share price has fallen to $0.005, or half a cent.

Chapmans Limited share price 2018


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