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

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Accrington, Southend … and Worthing

Posted on November 4, 2009

So, will there, in best Jeff Stelling tradition, be dancing in the streets of Accrington, Southend and Worthing tonight? Let’s deal with Worthing first.  It’s the home of the HMRC office which deals with the tax affairs of football clubs.  Certainly there is cause for dancing, but probably this will be manifested as an occasional […]

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Posted in Debts, HMRC, Insolvency, Ownership, Trusts | 4 Comments »

Accrington Stanley and AFC Hornchurch

Posted on May 31, 2009

I’m just back from a trip to Denmark (hence the lack of posting for the past week). On Friday I was enjoying a coffee in a café and playing with my new phone. There happened to be a free wifi service, so I thought I’d just check out the football news from the BBC website. […]

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Posted in Insolvency | Leave a Comment »

The Tax Man cometh…

Posted on February 23, 2012

There can be no doubt that the abbreviation HMRC is one which has hit pretty well every football fan’s radar screen recently.  There have been the two big Administrations at Portsmouth and Rangers.  Bubbling away in the background is not only the issue of whether clubs’ use of Employment Benefit Trusts constitutes tax evasion (and […]

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Posted in Debts, HMRC, Insolvency | 5 Comments »

HMRC Winding-Up Petitions

Posted on February 23, 2012

The following list is of the winding-up petitions presented by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and its predecessors, the Internal Revenue (IR) who were responsible for the collection of direct taxation such as income tax (PAYE) and National Insurance contributions, and HM Customs and Excise (C&E) who were responsible for the collection of indirect taxation […]

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Posted in | 1 Comment »

No. of Clubs

Posted on February 13, 2012

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 […]

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Some stadium snippets

Posted on April 22, 2011

Mainly, but not exclusively, bad news from various clubs at various levels in the pyramid: Bradford City  (L2; population 294,000; nearest higher Level club Leeds United 10 miles [city centre to city centre, not stadium to stadium]) Younger readers may be forgiven for not knowing that Bradford City was home to Premier League football, albeit […]

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Posted in Stadium | 4 Comments »

When a club is at its most vulnerable

Posted on March 27, 2011

A week can be a long time in football, but, having been out of the country for a week, working in the Tirol, I find it quite surprising in some ways how little has happened, or, to be more precise, resolved itself.  Two ‘sagas’ which have been on my radar screens for several weeks have […]

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Posted in Fit and Proper Person tests, Football Association, Governance | 10 Comments »

‘Club’, ‘club’ or ‘club’??? A 3Cs model

Posted on February 9, 2011

The evidence submitted by the Premier League to the House of Commons Select Committee prompts me to write again on the inherent ambiguity of the word ‘club’.  The evidence contains the following statement: English football clubs are very resilient with 95% of the clubs in the Football League in 1923 still in existence today and […]

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Posted in Fans, Governance, Identity, Ownership, Players' careers | 12 Comments »

More unexpected ‘benefactor’ behaviour

Posted on September 17, 2010

Following my last posting, two stories have caught my eye – at Altrincham and at Accrington Stanley. For those not familiar with Altrincham’s business model, it would only be fair to provide some context.  In July 2002 Geoff Goodwin became the Chairman.  This followed  a period of considerable instability – an ex-director had threatened to […]

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Posted in Benefactors, Ownership, Trusts | Leave a Comment »

On the embargo front

Posted on August 8, 2010

A quick look at clubs and embargoes, not exhaustive, and needing qualification for the particular circumstances of each club, and obviously subject to changing reactions to the lifting of an embargo.  It does however suggest that the impact of a transfer embargo varies enormously, making it a rather blunt instrument as a sanction. Accrington Stanley […]

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Posted in Sanctions, Transfer embargo, Transfers | 2 Comments »

Meanwhile, back at Bournemouth…

Posted on March 18, 2010

Yet another winding-up petition from HMRC is reported as being about to hit the club (1).  They are in arrears to the tune of £314,000, and had total debts earlier this month of £846,924 (2).  Shockingly, this is actually an improvement on earlier debt levels, not a new low. Chairman Eddie Mitchell’s solution is to […]

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Posted in Benefactors, Debts, Fans, HMRC, Insolvency | 12 Comments »

Crawley Town and Farnborough in court today

Posted on March 17, 2010

Court appearances over debts are becoming a bit of a regular Wednesday activity, and it’s a pleasant change to report some positive news. First up this morning were Crawley Town over an unspecified debt to HMRC – case dismissed; the debt had been settled (1).  In fact, at the previous hearing when the club had […]

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Posted in Debts, HMRC, Insolvency | 5 Comments »

Revised HMRC court schedule

Posted on February 19, 2010

With the various adjournments granted and a couple of strikings out (Hinckley and Accrington paid their debts), I thought it might be useful to publish the revised list of when cases are next due in court: 24 February – Notts County 1 March – Portsmouth 3 March – Burscough (‘final’); Cardiff City; Southend United 10 […]

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Posted in Debts, HMRC, Insolvency | Leave a Comment »

HMRC court dates

Posted on January 28, 2010

With all the adjournments yesterday, I make the revised schedule of winding-up petitions to be heard as: 3 February – Accrington Stanley 10 February – Cardiff City, Hinckley United, and Portsmouth 17 February – Burscough 24 February – Notts County 10 March – Chester City plus Crystal Palace, now in Administration, and the joker in […]

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Posted in HMRC, Insolvency | 9 Comments »

Chester City and Notts County

Posted on January 27, 2010

It was adjournments all round for the two clubs who faced winding-up petitions from HMRC in court today. Notts County, supposedly about to receive £5m investement from an as yet unnamed source, got a 28 day extension (1).  HMRC agreed to this, but subject to the fact that in 28 days the hearing will be […]

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Posted in Debts, HMRC, Insolvency | 5 Comments »