TinyCOW director Lee O’Hanlon says he holds a government department and its Minister responsible for his company’s financial position.
Lee O’Hanlon insisted his company has not gone into liquidation, despite the posting on social media of ‘minutes’ of a meeting last week of tinyCOW’s directors purporting to show that that the company could cease trading and enter into liquidation.
TinyCOW company is embroiled in a dispute over who is liable for certain costs of organising July’s Tom Jones show, with Mr O’Hanlon claiming the Department of Economic Development is attempting to ‘cheat’ him out of his return on investment.
The department strenuously denies this and has offered to settle the matter through mediation.
Villa-Gaiety general manager Dawn Maddrell has been put on precautionary suspension while a series of allegations made by Mr O’Hanlon about the staging of the Tom Jones show and The Jacksons concert in 2014 are investigated.
TinyCOW was the booking agent for both acts.
Mr O’Hanlon said he and his wife Samantha were looking to restructure the business.
He said: ‘TinyCOW (IOM) Ltd has not entered into liquidation. For a company to have entered into administration I understand it needs to have appointed a liquidator. That is not the case for tinyCOW (IOM) Limited. TinyCOW (IOM) Limited has definitely not appointed a liquidator.
‘Samantha and I are looking at how we structure the different things we do and better protect ourselves for the future from untrustworthy organisations that we provide services to or suppliers to us that may not achieve the high standards we insist upon.’
There are no UK companies linked to tinyCOW (IOM) Ltd and no umbrella tinyCOW organisation that other companies form part of, he said. Mr O’Hanlon added:
‘I hold Laurence Skelly and the Department of Economic Development responsible for the financial impact on the companies I am CEO of and the impact on my co-investors.’
The tinyCow boss alleges that a confidentiality agreement for The Jacksons show was not created until weeks after the event. He also claims financial regulations were deliberately avoided for the Tom Jones show. DED deny both claims.
Mr O’Hanlon said: ‘The deplorable behaviour and purposefully misreading of agreements by DED is an attempt to do nothing more than deceive the Manx taxpayers once again of the true state of how they run their affairs and the losses they seem to be incapable of avoiding yet seek to hide.
‘Their actions are directly affecting companies I am CEO of and I call on Laurence Skelly to provide the public, pre-election with the signed and fully executed confidentiality agreements with my company he has sought to rely on for two years. I have never signed one and so can confidently say they don’t exist.’
The row over the staging of loss-making music events has rapidly turned into trial by social media.
Mr O’Hanlon’s allegations first appeared on a Facebook site entitled Isle of Man News, which, despite appearances, has no connection whatsoever with Isle of Man Newspapers.
But last week a new Facebook page entered the fray. The Villa Marina vs tinyCOW community page claims to provide an ‘open, honest and transparent’ look at the Villa Marina ‘scandal’. It was on this site that the tinyCOW company minutes appeared.
Authors of the new Villa Marina vs tinyCOW community page state they are not associated with either party. They say: ‘We have nothing to hide. Except who we are. We’re keeping that under wraps.’
The DED has raised concerns about the growing trend for serious allegations to be made anonymously, often via social media, against named individuals including members of staff. It said it was looking at what steps it could take.
One allegation concerns signed posters of The Jacksons requested by David Cretney MLC, political member with responsibility for the Villa-Gaiety. Mr O’Hanlon claims they were worth ‘hundreds of pounds’.
Mr Cretney denies wrong-doing: ‘The signed poster and flyers were not as alleged for friends but for local fans who had contacted me. I met The Jacksons and took them around Tynwald, Keys and Council and gave them a small Manx flag as they were interested in the history.
‘I am interested in music and have collected set lists and autographs for a long time at concerts I have attended and have never paid for them as artistes are generally happy to oblige as were The Jacksons to others who obtained autographs and photographs as well as myself. Tynwald advice is that I have gained no pecuniary advantage nor acted inappropriately.’
Source: IOM Today