Celtic and Rangers ask fans for Power cut over magazines

Celtic and Rangers supporters have been urged by their respective clubs to cancel their subscriptions to magazine and matchday programme suppliers, Cre8 Publishing, amid questions about the company, its commercial predecessor, and the interesting business career of former professional footballer, Lee Power.

According to The Guardian, problems have arisen over royalties, allegedly unpaid to the SPL’s top clubs from Cre8 Publishing. The company has similar publishing contracts with Everton, Manchester City, West Ham United, Wolves, Stoke City and Newcastle United.

The Guardian today highlighted the interesting history behind Cre8 Publishing and its predecessor company, Cre8 UK, and Lake’s fellow founder-shareholder, Lee Power.

Lee Power: footballer turned businessman

The former Norwich, Peterborough and Bradford forward, Power was selected for Ireland’s under-21s during a playing career that took in 12 clubs in England and Scotland. Aged 38,  since his retirement as a player 10 years ago, Power been chairman of Cambridge United, held a directorship of Rushden and Diamonds and has been involved in a bid to take over Luton Town. He has also worked as a football agent, been a racehorse owner, hotelier and, of course, publisher.

In March 2008, Cre8 UK, which had published all 48 match programmes for the 2007 Rugby World Cup, bought the new Racing Ahead Weekend newspaper, in the December changing its title to Racing +. The paper was edited by Chris Wiltshire, a Press Association journalist and former production editor (sport) at the Daily Express.

According to The Guardian, Power and Lake set up Cre8 Publishing in 2008, a few months before Cre8 UK collapsed, owing £2.4 million.

In July 2009, the Peterborough Evening Telegraph reported that Cre8 UK, which had been running that town’s historic Great Northern Hotel following its £3 million purchase only three months earlier, had written to the hotel’s 49 staff to tell them that they had been made redundant after the company that managed the business had become insolvent. The letter was signed by Lee Power.

At the time, it was reported that Power had been the director of 19 companies, 13 of which were either in insolvency proceedings or had been dissolved

According to today’s Guardian story, Cre8 UK’s lucrative football club publishing contracts were moved to Cre8 Publishing before Cre8 UK went bust. Power later resigned as a director and his 70 per cent stake has since found its way into a Swiss nominee company, Werdale Assets.

Cre8 Publishing has previously denied that it had any ongoing links to Power, who is apparently now a Swiss resident.

The Guardian reports: “But it is odd that Werdale also happened to be owed £255,000 in a debenture to Lake’s and Power’s Cre8 UK, of which it will at best receive a tiny fraction of its dues. So why would it entrust its latest investment to another football publishing company of which Lake is the sole director? Lake would not say, and otherwise only Werdale knows.”

In the meantime, Celtic and Rangers fans had better start canceling those direct debits.