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

Club round-up

Posted by John Beech on July 29, 2010

A variety of snippets of insolvency and related news.  Readers unfamiliar with events at particular clubs should use the Quick Club Links in the left side bar for postings passim.

  • Ashford Town (Kent)
    Today’s the day of the Administration hearing (1) and a resolution (?) of the confrontation between Don Crosbie and Tony Betteridge, co-owners of the club – a critical day for the future of the club.
  • Bradford Park Avenue
    The HMRC winding-up petition has been dismissed (2), presumably because the club cleared its debt.  The sum involved was ‘four figures’ (3).
  • Bromsgrove Rovers
    The club have managed to reach agreement in principle to continue playing at their traditional home, the Victoria Ground (4), groundsharing with new club Bromsgrove Sporting.  There are still some terms and conditions to be agreed however.
  • Cardiff City (late addition)
    The club is due back in court to face HMRC on Wednesday 11th August over a PAYE bill of £1.3m (5).
  • Crawley Town
    Big-spending Crawley Town had been facing an HMRC winding-up petition (6), but said that the bill had been paid a month previously.  The petition was dismissed in court yesterday.
    Am I alone in thinking that something at Crawley Town somehow just ‘does not compute’?
  • Crystal Palace
    The CVA has been agreed and it looks full steam ahead for the CPFC 2010 consortium to take over the club (7).
  • Dorchester Town
    The club had defaulted on one payment to HMRC, but have now been given a three-month reprieve, having renegotiated with HMRC (8).  Vice-chairman and club secretary David Martin made the interesting assertion that “Around one third of Conference clubs have arrangements in place with Revenue & Customs“.
  • Farnborough Town
    The club’s transfer embargo has been lifted by the FA, player payments having now been made  (9)
  • Halesowen Town
    The takeover by the Ingram brothers has finally been approved by the FA (10), but manager Matt Clarke has resigned following his suspension by the FA for a year (11), and captain Scott Rickards has also been suspended for six months.
  • Ilkeston Town
    Yesterday the club was granted a 42-day extension to HMRC’s winding-up petition (12).  The main issue is £47,000 due for income tax and VAT; this dates from two years ago under previous owner Chet Whyte.
  • Portsmouth
    Where to begin!  The club is bereft of players for the coming season (13) and, at the time of writing, have only 15 players, some of whom will leave during the transfer window, and none of whom is a goalkeeper.  An eventful tour of North America has just been completed (14), to the relief of all no doubt.
    The big crunch comes next Tuesday (15) with the complex confrontation with HMRC over the CVA.  Administrator Andrew Andronikou remains confident; I would have to say that I think it is less clear cut.
  • Preston North End (late addition)
    Trevor Hemmings, who now owns 88.8% of the club’s shares, has lent the club a further £200,000 (his loans total £15m) to pay HMRC (16).  He needs a 90% stake in the club to force the sale of all other shareholdings.
  • Rushden & Diamonds
    A winding-up petition brought by HMRC has now been withdrawn (17).  Strategic director Helen Thompson (18) had highlighted the massive overheads incurred in the running of the stadium.
  • Sheffield Wednesday
    The club is due in court on 11 August over £550,000 debt to HMRC (19), but accuse, rather unhelpfully, HMRC of  ‘disproportionate action’.  Much will depend on the club’s bank holding firm in their support.
  • Southend United
    Next of the club’s increasing regular appearances in court against HMRC is due next Monday (20).  Chairman Ron Martin has been uncharacteristically silent over this latest turn in events.

A total of thirteen fifteen clubs, some with deep cause for concern, others less so.  But it is hardly an advertisement for English football management or its benefactor model for that matter.


Tony Betteridge’s winding-up petition has failed; Don Crosbie’s move to place the club into Administration has succeeded (A).  The Administrator has called for bids for the club to be placed by 17:30 today (!).  The race is on to get the club into the Kent League for the coming season.

LATEST – 30 July 2010

Well, an interesting outcome of the bidding process.  The winner was … Tony Betteridge (B), in what he described as a hollow victory.  Hopefully the paralysis surrounding the club has been lifted and the club can press ahead with joining the Kent League.

LATEST – 2 August 2010

It seems that the clock has beaten the club – see Tony Betteridge’s statement here.


The club has issued a statement (C) dismissing Club 9 Sport LLC’s interest, and suggesting that a minimum investment of £5m on day 1 is needed.  Hmm, a smidgen more would come in handy I would suggest.


Club 9 Sport has hit back, criticising the Owl’s board.  Its website (D) offers no fewer than three downloads: a press release issued by co-investment partner, Dennis Hobson, and themselves (E), which is critical of the way the club’s behaved; an open letter to ‘fans, supporters and allies’ (F), which includes statements on what they will and will not do in the future if successful in acquiring the club; and a document entitled ‘First Steps on the SWFC Turnaround (G).

The last of these three will make strange reading to fans used to the usual ‘new benefactor’ guff promising Premier League football in a new stadium before you can say ‘SvenGöran Eriksson‘.  In style at least, it has strong similarities to the approach Derby County’s American owners have adopted.


Good news at last for Palace fans. The club is out of Administration and into the ownership of Steve Parish’s CPFC 2010 consortium (H).

7 Responses to “Club round-up”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by John Beech, jameskennell. jameskennell said: RT @JohnBeech: #footballfinance Ashford Town (Kent) court result […]

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by John Beech and nonleagueshow, Ben Westmancott. Ben Westmancott said: RT @JohnBeech: #footballfinance Ashford Town (Kent) latest (bought from Administrator by …) […]

  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Mark Mac and John Beech, Ben Westmancott. Ben Westmancott said: RT @JohnBeech: #footballfinance Sheffield Wednesday update […]

  4. What is it about those that are responsable for football clubs that would be deemed insolvent in any other business that they think they are arbitors of what is “credible”? Quite frankly its statements like that from the Sheffield Wednesday board that give football ownership a bad name. This season’s Cardiff City if they are lucky, this season’s Portsmouth if they are not.

  5. […] Club round-up […]

  6. Infamy said

    Well it looks like all the brinkmanship and posturing at Ashford has got the inevitable result !

  7. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by John Beech, Mark O'Connor. Mark O'Connor said: RT @JohnBeech: #footballfinance Ashford Town (Kent) latest – no football this coming season […]

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