The Dom Post reports:
The Apprentice star Terry Serepisos is being chased by creditors and is struggling to pay about $2 million in unpaid rates and ground rents to Wellington City Council.
A Dominion Post investigation has learnt that the council has met regularly with Mr Serepisos – but he has yet to settle the substantial debt.
It is understood Mr Serepisos has told the council he is struggling to pay – and if the council takes action to recover the money it could jeopardise the Wellington Phoenix football franchise he owns. Mr Serepisos said yesterday that he had pumped a total of $5 million into the football club, which this week received a five-year extension to continue in the A-League.
I have to say that one shouldn’t make sponsorship commitments, if you can’t provide the support promised. Not paying rates, so one can continue the sponsorship is not an enduring solution.
Mr Serepisos said he had spent vast sums promoting Wellington, bankrolling the Phoenix and working with several charities and the community.
“I’m pouring in millions and millions of dollars to promote this city and doing all these things I do. And I feel a little disheartened that a handful of people are taking pot shots at me.”
Which is all great, and I think the Phoenix are great. But the obligation is to meet your legal and contractual obligations first. If you are unable to pay your rates, because of the Phoenix sponsorship, then you are not sponsoring the Phoenix – I am – along with all the other ratepayers who do pay our rates.
And it goes without saying how bad a look it is for The Apprentice TV show, to have the boss in the media for being unable to pay his bills. Maybe the winner should make sure they get the $200,000 in advance!
Another Dom Post story also has details of other creditors claiming they have not been paid.Tags: Dominion Post, Terry Serepisos, The Apprentice