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

That elusive number of insolvent football clubs

Posted by John Beech on February 13, 2012

Today’s breaking news makes for grim reading.

First there are the reports that Portsmouth is to go into Administration again (1).  With the club’s bank account now frozen, players and other staff unpaid, and an early parachute payment in the offing, this comes as no great surprise.

Meanwhile, North of the Border, it is reported that Rangers are declaring their intention of going into Administration (2).  In theory at least, Administration might yet be avoided – they might manage to negotiate a deal with their creditors, but this seems unlikely as it involves HMRC and a sum of £49m , or they might find a new owner in the meantime (which seems almost as unlikely).  The process of ‘declaring intent ‘ provides a company with temporary protection from creditors.  Two precedents from English football spring to mind: Plymouth Argyle (who did subsequently go into Administration) and Coventry City in 2007 (who found a buyer in the nick of time, thus avoiding Administration).

Those interested in the complexities of what has been going on at Rangers should follow the excellent Rangerstaxcase blog.

It was the case of Coventry City that prompted me back then to find what proved to be an elusive number – the number of top flight clubs that had gone into Administration.  So elusive did it prove to be that I started compiling relevant data in an attempt to produce it myself.  The results of this research I have now added to the blog on a new page No. of Clubs, accessible by clicking on the link or from the top menu.  Please read the bumf at the top of that page before diving in!

2 Responses to “That elusive number of insolvent football clubs”

  1. Tom said

    Hi John,

    interesting blog. I suppose you have recently heard about Hearts FC going into administration , although for them, there is a glimmer of hope that they have someone coming in to but them. Rangers for me was the biggest shock, only because I worry for Scottish football. They were Celtics closest rivals, much like Real Madrid are rivals with Barcelona and Arsenal are with Tottenham .

    • John Beech said

      I follow Scottish football management but generally don’t blog on it. One exception though was regarding Massone when he was at Livingston.

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