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Hull in another hole as Lloyd pockets the keys; I've lost pounds 4 million and if I lose another pounds 40,000 it doesn't really matter.

Hull City's landlord David Lloyd yesterday denied money was the motive behind his decision to lock the troubled Third Division club out of Boothferry Park, claiming it was a bid to secure the Tigers' long-term future.

The mid-table outfit face a winding-up order in the High Court today, brought on behalf of the Customs and Excise for unpaid VAT totalling up to pounds 500,000 and other debts believed to total pounds 1 million. But club officials are trying to prevent that action by requesting a voluntary administration order prior to the winding-up hearing.

Lloyd says he will refuse the club entry until he gets what he wants - this is the second time in nine months that he has locked the club out of the ground.

Hull are due to play Leyton Orient in a league match at home on Saturday but Lloyd is prepared to disrupt the fixture. 'Here we have to stand firm,' he said.

'It's the only way to bring the parties to the table. They can't play football unless I allow them.

'I'm insignificant. The only thing I own is the pitch.

'I want the parties involved - the owners, the council and the Inland Revenue - to come to a deal I know will allow football to be played at Hull for a long, long time. I want to ensure there is a future for Hull City Football Club and, unfortunately, lots of things have happened in the last week or so that makes me believe that I'm not in the full picture in terms of who owns what with regards to the shareholders of the company.

'I'm led to believe the directors want to put the club into some form of administration.

'I actually don't think that's the best for Hull City.

'It can't work in administration. There are no assets - I own the asset. They will have to get round the table.'

Lloyd added: 'The council could have owned this pitch a year ago. Hull City Council are the number one wealthiest council in Britain. I offered them a deal and they wouldn't put down a minute deposit.'

Lloyd rejected criticism that money was his motive, adding: 'I've lost pounds 4 million and if I lose another pounds 40,000 it doesn't really matter.'

Club chairman Nick Buchanan said: 'This is a personal matter and it's very sad that Mr Lloyd has decided to take this course of action. I really don't understand what he is attempting to achieve.'

Manager Brian Little and his assistants Kevan Smith and David Moore, as well as the players, have not been paid for five weeks.
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Title Annotation:Football
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Feb 7, 2001
Words:437
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