Woolworths’ administrator Deloitte, restructuring specialist Hilco and other advisers were paid at least £14m to wind up the variety store group.

Deloitte’s bill over a five-month period was £3.8m and Hilco’s £2.2m, a memo disclosed to The Sun newspaper showed. Other consultants were paid £5.7m. Deloitte also charged £84,000 of expenses to the banks that appointed them.

Woolies hit the buffers last November and 23,000 jobs were lost as a result. The retailer’s creditors report showed that its closing down Sale generated turnover of £314m and the disposal of fixtures and fittings brought in £71,277. The sale of stores made £30m and more was raised by the sale of brands such as Ladybird and Chad Valley.

One former Woolworths employee told The Sun: “I can’t believe that when they told us we couldn’t have any redundancy they were swimming in cash.”

A Deloitte spokesperson said: “It was a good outcome for financial creditors but it is very sad that the business was wound down and people lost their jobs.”