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! Football Finance

HMRC v. Rochdale

Posted by John Beech on September 24, 2009

Rochdale is the latest club to be served with a winding-up order by HMRC (1).  Of all the reassuring words from the club, perhaps ‘it is business as usual at Spotland Stadium‘ that are the most worrying, given that cashflow problems are blamed as the cause of this action.

Back in April 2007 they faced a similar winding-up order, which they fought off (2).  On that occasion late payment of grant monies was said to be the cause of a major cashflow problem.

The club has certainly taken steps to try and address its financial problems.  Last January there was talk of a merger with the Rochdal Hornets of rugby league fame (3).  This came to nothing, and the Hornets went into Administration with a debt of £55,000 to HMRC (4).  In March, MMC Estates finished a four-year spell as club sponsors adding to the financial pressures (5), but in May, having failed in the League 2 play-offs, the club released seven players and placed another three on the transfer list (6).  Over the summer there was even talk of a groundshare with Oldham (7).

No doubt the club is feeling the pinch of the ubiquitous credit crunch, but, like Accrington Stanley (see postings passim), with nearby neighbours in higher leagues, they face a real problem in building revenues.  Cutting costs is unfortunately only half the solution and arguably the less challenging of the two halves.


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