Today has been a busy day for the Sinclair ZX Spectrum Vega+, though not one for technical updates, nor was it one showing us any new additions to the software. No today we’ve seen two past directors – Paul Andrewsand Chris Smith – release a statement reiterating that they left Retro Computers Limited back in April and then shortly after another statement was fired back from the Chairman of Retro Computers Limited – Dr. David Levy – squarely aimed at both Paul and Chris.
Paul and Andrews statement, which you can read below, highlights that they are receiving numerous emails from both press and backers in relation to the ZX Vega+ and they themselves have made a request for further information – from Retro Computers Limited – requesting an update on the project, but as yet have received nothing.
9th August 2016: On 21st of June 2016 Paul Andrews and Chris Smith issued a press release confirming their resignations from Retro Computers Ltd on 8th April 2016, this being prior to the company having received any funding from the Indiegogo campaign for the proposed Vega+ console, and their complete isolation from any management and business of the company since then. For clarity Andrews and Smith still retain a (joint) 50% shareholding in Retro Computers Ltd.
The company has of course since received more than £416,000 from that campaign, more than was budgeted to be required for the Vega+ project. In recent weeks Andrews and Smith have received increasing numbers of emails addressed to them, from public backers of the Vega+ console, and members of the press with questions relating to the production status of the Vega+. As a result of these enquiries received and their concern for the backers of the project, several weeks ago Smith and Andrews (via their solicitors), posed multiple questions to the current directors of Retro Computers Ltd (through their solicitors), including as to the status of the proposed Vega+ project (preparation, software, production, time scales, etc.) and also the financial resources of the company to meet the expected costs of development and production, and so on. Sadly Retro Computers Ltd has failed to respond at all to these requests (or indeed to earlier similar requests) and have not provided any information or answers to Andrews and Smith. Andrews and Smith therefore feel they have no choice but to publicly distance themselves from Retro Computers Ltd, and make it very clear that as they have no knowledge, control or say, in anything that has happened in the company since they resigned on 8th of April 2016, they are unable to answer any questions relating to the company or its projects.
They therefore regretfully ask enquirers to contact Retro Computers Ltd directly for any questions and queries on the Vega+ console. As Andrews and Smith are involved in ongoing unrelated legal matters against Retro Computers Ltd, they such cannot currently comment further beyond this press release.
Later in the afternoon the Chairman of Retro Computers Limited, Dr. David Levy, responded with strong words. He raised the point that they have begun legal proceedings to recover company funds that are unaccounted for, whilst the company was under the sole financial management of Paul Andrews. He also talks of both Paul and Chris joining The64 project, which he believes was a conflict of interest. Read the full statement below.
Our company, Retro Computers Limited is the developer and manufacturer of the Sinclair ZX Spectrum Vega games consoles.
The most important thing I would like to say is that the current team at Retro Computers Ltd has been and is focusing its efforts on the completion of new and better software for its forthcoming product, the Vega+, and is making every effort, supported by the factory, to deliver the first production run of the Vega+ by the end of next month, as originally planned.
I would not normally comment on such matters but given that this is the third factually inaccurate statement being released to media by Paul Andrews and Chris Smith and or their associates, purporting to distance themselves from the Vega Project(s) we seek to clarify the misinformation and we are grateful for our right to reply.
Following advice from our legal and financial advisors we can also confirm that the current management at Retro Computers limited have issued legal proceedings to recover company funds that are unaccounted for whilst the company was under the sole financial management of Paul Andrews, as Managing Director and Chris Smith, as CTO this matter has been in the hands of our solicitors for sometime.
On April 8th 2016 two of the shareholders/directors of the company, Paul Andrews and Chris Smith, resigned as directors. Their resignation followed the revelation that they intended to attempt to raise money for the development and manufacture of a rival product, namely a retro version of the Commodore 64 computer – The64. I perceived their intentions as putting them in a conflict of interest’s situation, contrary to Section 25 of the Companies Act 2006.The64 – Chris and Paul’s new machine of choice.
The 64 Project, which failed to reach it’s crowdfunding target, is allegedly being produced by an almost identically named company Retro Games Limited, a company incorporated on 16th August, 2015 by Paul Andrews as it’s sole director and of which Smith and Andrews are jointly 50% shareholder. At the time of its incorporation and for some eight months thereafter its address and phone number were identical to Retro Computers Limited
Since their resignation, and despite the fact that each of them remains a 25% shareholder in Retro Computers Ltd, Andrews and Smith have acted in various ways that can perhaps be best described as a campaign of non co-operation and attempted destabilisation of the company. This campaign includes the failure to hand over to the company and its new management team various important legally require company records and documents and technical information that are needed for smooth company operation.
Shortly after their resignations the new management team of Retro Computers Limited asked Mr Andrews and Mr Smith to explain a number of financial transactions which took place while Andrews was Managing Director of the company Mr Andrews and Mr Smith have both refused to provide any of this information.
The company’s investigations into these financial irregularities have made considerable progress but are still ongoing, and on the advice of our lawyers we will not comment further on those matters at the present time.
I can however confirm that the current management at Retro Computers limited have issued legal proceedings to recover funds and this is a matter, which has been in the hands of our solicitors for some time.
I believe that their actions are aimed at destabilizing the company in order to make it difficult for the company to take the appropriate legal action in relation to financial irregularities.
The official page with Dr. Levy’s statement can be found here
How do these words of retro war make you feel about the products in question and people behind them? Do you wish everyone would just calm down and get on with the job or are you getting a bit worried about the money you’ve pledged into a recent retro campaign?