Football Management

Commentary on the management of over 160 English football clubs by Dr John Beech, winner of the FSF Writer of the Year Award 2009/10 Twitter: @JohnBeech Curator of Scoop.it! Football Finance

No. of Clubs

I’m sometimes asked for a magic number – the number of top clubs which have gone into Administration.  It’s difficult give a simple answer because:

  • Administration is a misleading basis for counting.  Clubs can be wound up without ever going into Administration.  A better measure is ‘insolvency event’, a term which can however be defined in a number of ways, and is thus debatable with respect to particular events.  For example, I choose to include cases where a club chooses to resign from a league because of financial difficulties, and cases where a club is sold for a purely nominal sum because the new owner is acquiring a large amount of debt.
  • It depends on whether you mean ‘in a top flight at the time’ or ‘have ever been in a top flight’.
  • There is no single online source which provides all the necessary information.  The two main official sources are the London Gazette (where the search engine is not 100% accurate as it involves searching slightly grainy pdfs) and Companies House (which does not carry historical data online).

I’ve compiled data from a number of sources, and continue to try and keep it up to date.  I have taken the collapse of Accrington Stanley in the 1960s as a start date as it roughly coincides with the beginning of commercialised football.  For what it’s worth I publish it below.  Please acknowledge me as the source if you republish it or adapt it.  This would be appreciated in view of the time and effort it has taken to compile it.  I would appreciate any feedback on errors or omissions by email to John AT Beech DOT net.  There may well be omissions from the earliest period, but I am reasonably confident that the more recent listings are complete.

A list of Winding-Up Petitions presented by HMRC and its predecessors, the Inland Revenue, and Customs & Excise, since 1960 is available here.

(Italicised entries indicate a repeat ‘offence’ by a club; ’00 ‘in a date implies that I have not yet managed to date the event precisely)

Club

Date

Insolvency event

Tier at the time

Ever in top 92?

Ever in top 116?

Accrington Stanley

00/03/1962

Resigned from League; folded in 1966

4

Y

Y

Gateshead

27/02/1974

Voluntary liquidation; had ceased playing the previous summer

8

Y

Y

Bradford Park Avenue

03/05/1974

Voluntary liquidation

5

Y

Y

Fleetwood

18/08/1976

Compulsory liquidation by local trader

7

N

N

Great Harwood

05/08/1978

Voluntary liquidation

5

N

N

Atherstone Town

00/00/1979

‘Folded under its debts’

8

N

N

New Brighton

16/07/1979

Voluntary liquidation

9

Y

Y

Farnborough Town

19/11/1979

Wound up

7

N

N

Bristol City

00/02/1982

Company phoenixed

4

Y

Y

Wolverhampton Wanderers

30/07/1982

Instrument of Receivership on this date according to Companies House website; London Gazette gives Winding Up order as issued on 05/09/1983; Company phoenixed

2

Y

Y

Hull City

26/02/1982

Voluntary Receivership

4

Y

Y

Chelsea

02/04/1982

Sold for £1

2

Y

Y

Dover

16/05/1983

Compulsory liquidation

7

N

N

Kettering Town

18/07/1983

Wound up

5

N

Y

Worksop Town

26/07/1983

Compulsory liquidation

6

N

N

Bradford City

29/07/1983

Compulsory Receivership by Customs & Excise

3

Y

Y

Charlton Athletic

08/03/1984

Compulsory liquidation by local trader

2

Y

Y

Hastings United

06/06/1985

Ceased trading in light of debts

5

N

N

Swansea City

20/12/1985

Compulsory Receivership by Inland Revenue

3

Y

Y

Wolverhampton Wanderers

28/05/1986

West Midlands County Council sought winding-up order; set aside on appeal; company phoenixed via the Official Receiver who was not appointed until  28/05/1986;

3

Y

Y

Middlesbrough

30/07/1986

Provisional Liquidator appointed; company phoenixed

2

Y

Y

Halifax Town

19/01/1987

Administration

4

Y

Y

Tranmere Rovers

09/02/1987

Administration

4

Y

Y

Newport County

16/02/1987

Administration

5

Y

Y

Fulham

10/04/1987

Company phoenixed; sold for ‘more than pounds 10, less than half a million’

3

Y

Y

Rotherham United

13/04/1987

Administration

3

Y

Y

Bangor City

21/10/1987

Company wound up by court; phoenixed

5

N

Y

Newport County

20/02/1989

Wound up by Administrators; club later resurrected

5

Y

Y

Folkestone Town

26/07/1990

Voluntary liquidation

6

N

N

Aldershot

30/07/1990

Winding-up order granted; lifted on appeal following (vacuous) pledges from Spencer Trethewy

4

Y

Y

Aldershot

25/03/1992

Compulsorily wound up on petition by HMRC

4

Y

Y

Northampton Town

02/04/1992

Administration

4

Y

Y

Wealdstone

06/07/1992

Administration

6

N

Y

Fareham Town

21/08/1992

Voluntary liquidation

7

N

N

Maidstone United

17/08/1992

Voluntary liquidation; had resigned from League a fortnight previously

4

Y

Y

Dartford

00/09/1992

Withdrew from Southern League; company phoenixed by supporters

6

N

N

Kettering Town

12/10/1992

Administration

5

N

Y

Birmingham City

07/11/1992

BCCI (parent company) wound up in Luxembourg with massive debts

2

Y

Y

Hartlepool

20/01/1993

Winding-up petition granted; overthrown on appeal

4

Y

Y

Barnet

10/01/1994

Debtors agreed to a CVA

4

Y

Y

Hendon

01/07/1994

Put up for sale by owner who had bought Stevenage; bought 5 days before extinction; company phoenixed

7

N

N

Northallerton Town

05/07/1994

Successful winding-up petition by C&E; club immediately resurrected during the closed season

6

N

N

Exeter City

01/11/1994

Administration

4

Y

Y

Gillingham

07/01/1995

Administrative Receivership

4

Y

Y

Kettering Town

01/05/1995

Wound up

5

N

Y

Halifax Town

31/05/1995

CVA

4

Y

Y

Witney Town

29/11/1995

Voluntary Liquidation

7

N

N

Fleetwood Town

13/05/1996

Successful winding-up petition by C&E

7

N

N

Merthyr Tydfil

10/01/1997

Receiversghip Rule 3.32

6

N

Y

Darlington

14/01/1997

CVA

4

Y

Y

Barrow

23/01/1997

Liquidation

6

N

Y

Bournemouth

24/01/1997

Receiversghip Rule 3.32 forced on company by Lloyds Bank

3

Y

Y

Millwall

30/01/1997

Administration

3

Y

Y

Portsmouth

 12/02/1997

Venables bought 51% of shares for £1

2

Y

Y

Aylesbury United

17/02/1997

Administration

6

N

N

Brighton & Hove Albion

00/04/1997

Following repeated windin-up petitions, stadium was sold and club forced into exile

3

Y

Y

Doncaster Rovers

26/06/1997

Administration

4

Y

Y

Hereford United

21/01/1998

CVA

5

Y

Y

Portsmouth

03/02/1998

Administration

2

Y

Y

Merthyr Tydfil

03/06/1998

Compulsory liquidation

6

N

Y

Trowbridge Town

29/06/1998

Compulsory liquidation by creditors

7

N

N

Farnborough Town

01/07/1998

CVA

5

N

Y

Oxford United

27/07/1998

CVA
(following Kassam takeover)

2

Y

Y

Chester City

27/10/1998

Administration

4

Y

Y

Barrow

25/01/1999

Liquidation

5

Y

Y

Merthyr Tydfil

29/01/1999

Administration

6

N

Y

Crystal Palace

31/03/1999

Administration

2

Y

Y

Luton Town

23/03/1999

Administrative Receivership

3

Y

Y

Crawley Town

20/08/1999

Administration

6

N

Y

Aylesbury United

18/10/1999

Administration

6

N

Y

Swindon Town

03/02/2000

Administration

3

Y

Y

Scarborough

24/08/2000

CVA (multiple press reports, but not confirmed by LG or CH)

4

Y

Y

Witney Town

30/11/2000

Voluntary liquidation

9

N

N

King’s Lynn

21/01/2001

Administration

7

N

N

Hull City

07/02/2001

Administration

4

Y

Y

Canterbury City

21/02/2001

Compulsory Liquidation

9

N

N

Bromsgrove Rovers

05/03/2001

Administration

7

N

Y

QPR

02/04/2001

Administration

2

Y

Y

Chesterfield

16/05/2001

Administration

4

Y

Y

Swansea City

12/07/2001

Club sold for £1

3

Y

Y

Kingstonian

24/10/2001

Administration

7

N

Y

Bury

01/03/2002

Administratiom

3

Y

Y

Swansea City

25/03/2002

CVA

4

Y

Y

Swindon Town

27/03/2002

Administration

3

Y

Y

Halifax Town

12/04/2002

Administration

4

Y

Y

Lincoln City

03/05/2002

Voluntary Administration

4

Y

Y

Bradford City

16/05/2002

Administration

2

Y

Y

Carlisle United

06/06/2002

Administration

4

Y

Y

Notts County

17/06/2002

Administration

3

Y

Y

Dover

18/06/2002

CVA

5

N

Y

Barnsley

03/10/2002

Administration

3

Y

Y

Leicester City

22/10/2002

Administration

2

Y

Y

Port Vale

16/12/2002

Voluntary Administration

3

Y

Y

York City

18/12/2002

Administration

4

Y

Y

Ipswich Town

10/02/2003

Administration

2

Y

Y

Scarborough

14/01/2003

Administration

5

Y

Y

Basingstoke Town

24/03/2003

CVA

6

N

N

Huddersfield Town

31/03/2003

Adminstration

3

Y

Y

Crystal Palace

14/05/2003

Voluntary Creditors Liquidation by Administrators

2

Y

Y

Wimbledon FC

05/06/2003

Administration

2

Y

Y

Luton Town

14/07/2003

Administrative Receivership

3

Y

Y

Kingstonian

29/07/2003

Compulsory liquidation

6

N

Y

Oldham

19/08/2003

Administration

3

Y

Y

Atherstone United

27/08/2003

Creditors Liquidation

9

N

N

Exeter City

16/10/2003

CVA

5

Y

Y

Derby County

20/10/2003

Administrative Receivership (Rule 3.32) of Holding Company

2

Y

Y

Hull City

07/11/2003

Compulsory Liquidation (of old company, in CVA, following Pearson takeover)

4

Y

Y

Enfield

20/11/2003

Liquidation

7

N

Y

Darlington

23/12/2003

Administration

4

Y

Y

Bradford City

27/02/2004

Administration

2

Y

Y

Leeds United

19/03/2004

Parent company into Administration (Leeds Utd plc and Leeds Utd Holdings)

1

Y

Y

Telford United

15/06/2004

Voluntary Creditors Liquidation

5

N

Y

Northwich Victoria

01/09/2004

Administration

5

N

Y

Wrexham

03/12/2004

Administration

3

Y

Y

Spennymoor United

00/04/2005

Folded following benefactor withdrawal

6

N

N

Worksop Town

08/04/2005

Entered CVA

6

N

N

Cambridge United

29/04/2005

Administration

5

Y

Y

Margate

29/04/2005

Administration

6

N

Y

Hornchurch

11/05/2005

Voluntary Creditors Liquidation (following rejection of proposed CVA)

6

N

N

Farnborough Town

25/06/2006

Administration

6

N

Y

AFC Barnsley

25/03/2006

Withdrew from Central Midlands League and disbanded

9

N

N

Rotherham United

19/04/2006

CVA

3

Y

Y

Scarborough

17/05/2006

Section 1A Creditors Moratorium

5

Y

Y

Crawley Town

05/06/2006

Administration

5

Y

Y

Great Harwood Town

03/07/2006

Resigned from North West Counties Football League

11

N

N

New Barking

16/08/2006

Voluntary Creditors Liquidation

8

N

N

Lancaster City

13/12/2006

Administration

6

N

N

Leeds United

04/05/2007

Administration

2

Y

Y

Boston United

05/05/2007

CVA

4

Y

Y

Enfield

08/05/2007

Liquidation

8

N

Y

Scarborough

20/06/2007

Wound up

6

Y

Y

Farnborough Town

25/07/2007

Creditors Liquidation

6

N

Y

Luton Town

22/11/2007

Administration

3

Y

Y

Coventry City

03/12/2007

Filed Intent to Enter Administration (but sold in time)

2

Y

Y

Bournemouth

07/02/2008

Administration

3

Y

Y

Swindon Town

06/03/2008

Administration

3

Y

Y

Halifax Town

14/03/2008

Administration (while still in CVA)

5

Y

Y

Rotherham United

18/03/2008

Administration

4

Y

Y

Edgware Town

00/05/2008

Resigned from Isthmian League

8

N

N

Nuneaton Borough

25/06/2008

Voluntary liquidation

6

N

Y

Luton Town

17/11/2008

Voluntary creditors liquidation

4

Y

Y

Ringmer

21/11/2008

Administration

9

N

N

Darlington

25/02/2009

Administration

4

Y

Y

Halifax Town

06/03/2009

Compulsory Liquidation

4

Y

Y

Southampton

02/04/2009

Administration of Holding Company

2

Y

Y

Stockport County

30/04/2009

Administration

3

Y

Y

Darwen

12/05/2009

Compulsory liquidation

10

Y

Y

Fisher Athletic

13/05/2009

Compulsory liquidation

5

N

Y

Chester City

14/05/2009

Administration

4

Y

Y

Northwich Victoria

15/05/2009

Administration

5

N

Y

AFC Hornchurch

19/05/2009

Administration (not traced in LG or CH)

7

N

Y

Merthyr Tydfil

12/06/2009

Administration

7

N

Y

Gresley Rovers

22/06/2009

Voluntary creditors liquidation

7

N

N

Farsley Celtic

30/06/2009

Administration

5

N

Y

Salisbury City

03/09/2009

Administration

5

N

Y

Swindon Town

09/09/2009

Voluntary Creditors Liquidation

3

Y

Y

Halesowen Town

14/09/2009

Administration

7

N

N

Harlow Town

17/09/2009

CVA

8

N

N

Bromsgrove Rovers

19/10/2009

Administration

7

N

Y

King’s Lynn

25/11/2009

Compulsory liquidation

7

N

N

Crystal Palace

26/01/2010

Administration

2

Y

Y

Folkestone Invicta

06/02/2010

CVA

8

N

N

Portsmouth

26/02/2010

Administration

1

Y

Y

Chester City

10/03/2010

Compulsory liquidation

5

Y

Y

Farsley Celtic

10/03/2010

Compulsory liquidation by Administrator

6

N

Y

Weymouth

26/03/2010

CVA

6

N

Y

Grays Athletic

12/05/2010

Relegated fron Conference National; sought to drop a further level to Isthmian League

5

N

Y

Merthyr Tydfil

18/06/2010

Compulsory liquidation

7

N

Y

Nelson

16/07/2010

Resigned from League; folded

9

Y

Y

Ashford Town (Kent)

29/07/2010

Administration

8

N

N

Gedling Town

25/10/2010

Withdrew from East Midlands Counties Football League

10

N

N

Atherstone Town

18/12/2010

Resigned from Southern League

8

N

N

Leyton

12/01/2011

Expelled from Isthmian League because of debts; subsequently dissolved

8

N

N

Windsor & Eton

02/02/2011

Compulsory Liquidation

7

N

N

Plymouth Argyle

21/02/2011

Filed intent to enter Administration then did so

3

Y

Y

Eastwood Town

01/06/2011

Sold for £1

6

N

N

Rossendale United

18/06/2011

Expelled from North West Counties Football League because of debts

9

N

N

Gedling Town

25/06/2011

Again withdrew from East Midlands Counties Football League

10

N

N

Rushden & Diamonds

05/07/2011

Administration

5

Y

Y

Hucknall Town

14/07/2011

Reverted to amateur status

7

N

N

Leyton

17/07/2011

Dissolved

10

N

N

Dawlish Town

22/07/2011

Withdrew from Western League

9

N

N

Prescot Cables

16/10/2011

Returned to amateur status mid-season

8

N

N

Rothwell Town

17/10/2011

Administration

8

N

N

Darlington

03/01/2012

Administration

5

Y

Y

Croydon Athletic

17/01/2012

Withdrew from Isthmian League

8

N

N

Portsmouth

17/02/2012

Administration

2

Y

Y

Port Vale

09/03/2012

Administration

4

Y

Y

Coventry City

21/03/2013

Voluntary Administration

3

Y

Y

Shaftesbury Town

24/04/2013

Voluntary Liquidation

10

N

N

Farnborough Town

26/04/2013

Voluntary Administration

6

N

Y

Aldershot Town

02/05/2013

Voluntary Administration

4

Y

Y

Southwick

11/07/2013

Voluntary Liquidation

13

N

N

Last updated: 26 July 2013

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