Czech Television: Pardubice Town Hall holds a knife to the neck of Dostihovy Spolek and wants its money back
A report on Czech Television Channel 24 on November 12th stated that Pardubice Town Hall is impatient with the financial situation at Dostihovy Spolek, the association that organises racing at Pardubice Racecourse. The Town wants Spolek to repay its debt of 11 million crowns, which has mounted over the years as the town has repeatedly bailed out the racecourse organisers. According to the report, the Town will take ownership of four trademarks that Spolek has registered and has posted as a guarantee for its debts. The four trademarks are Velká pardubická, Velká pardubická steeplechase, Taxis and Taxisův příkop (Taxis Ditch).
Pardubice mayor Štěpánka Fraňková, who is simultaneously a member of the board of Dostihovy spolek, representing the Town of Pardubice, which is the majority shareholder in Dostihovy Spolek, stated on TV, "The Town can’t go on for ever helping Dostihovy Spolek out. Dostihovy Spolek must now show quite clearly through precisely established measures that the Association is capable of life."
According to Czech Television, the four trademarks are reckoned to be worth 20 million crowns (EUR 800 000). Without the trademarks, Spolek would be worthless.
Dostihovy Spolek manager Hana Jeníková is attempting to calm the Town down. She stated on TV, "We set out a schedule of repayments in the spring, when Dostihovy Spolek was facing insolvency".
A police investigation aimed at clarifying the earlier financial management of Dostihovy Spolek. The investigators have had to reconstruct the accounts, from which some documents have mysteriously disappeared. They do not want to give any specific information about the investigations into members of the former management of the Association, but it is likely that the first accusations will be made at the beginning of next year. A spokesman for the Pardubice police stated: "We are waiting for a report to be prepared, on the basis of which we will decide what action to take next."
There is nothing new in this report, as long-term readers of Dostihovy Svet and Paddock Revue will know. It is not clear why the mayor should have chosen this time to go public, a month after the new leadership of Dostihovy Spolek had a good Velka Pardubicka meeting.