Servette given month to form rescue package

Servette Geneva's new owners were given one month on Tuesday to come up with a rescue package for the bankrupt club.

A civil court in the canton of Geneva said in a statement that it had accepted the club's request to adjourn a bankruptcy hearing until April 19.

"During the agreed period, the club's administration must produce a concrete and detailed stabilisation plan," said the statement.

"It must also demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed measures and their effect on the club's financial situation."

Seventeen-times Swiss champions Servette, fifth in the Swiss Super League, filed for bankruptcy on March 1 under their previous owner, Iranian businessman Majid Pishyar, who has since sold the club to Canadian businessman Hugh Quennec.

Quennec said in an interview with Swiss television that the club needed to raise between five million and 10 million Swiss francs to be able to complete the current season.

He said Servette, who only returned to the top flight of Swiss football this season after previously being declared bankrupt in 2005 and demoted to the third tier, had already raised 650,000 francs.

"The situation is not going to get worse, it's only going to get better," he said. "I am very optimistic about this initiative to save the club."

Servette's problems have completed a chaotic season for Swiss football.

Neuchatel Xamax were expelled in January over what the Swiss Football League said were a number of irregularities including the suspicion that Russian-born owner Bulat Chagaev had forged a letter from a bank which he used as proof of his financial situation.

Chagaev, subsequently arrested and in custody on charges of financial mismanagement, had only taken over the club eight months earlier.

Meanwhile, Sion were deducted 36 points for fielding players the club had signed while subject to a transfer ban.

The club then took their case to a civil court, defying FIFA and UEFA statutes, leading Switzerland to be threatened with an international ban.

The one bright spot had been FC Basel's progress in the Champions League. But that came to an abrupt end last week with a 7-0 defeat away to Bayern Munich.