Day: December 21, 2010

Plymouth Argyle Supporters Demonstrate Their Solidarity

If there is one way in which football shows its contempt for anything that isn’t football in the starkest possible terms, it is in its relationship with the outside world. Every time a club enters into administration and is forced down the route of a CVA, the most poignant document of all is usually the list of creditors, which, as well as showing the larger amounts of money owed usually has a list of smaller creditors that will be rail-roaded into having to effectively write off debts for services that were offered in good faith to clubs. Many of these are small businesses that can ill-afford to lose any money, but this usually ends up as a footnote as the biggest creditors’ interests are put above everything else. When football isn’t screwing the people that do business with it without demanding cash up front for their services, they’re treating their own staff as dispensible. FA rules mean that football creditors have to be paid in full and the ample wages that players receive should mean that there is no hardship amongst players at bigger clubs when they’re not paid because of financial problems, which they always will be eventually unless the club is liquidated. For those that man the ticket office, the phones and the club shop, however, it’s not quite as simple and redundancies at clubs that are...

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Welling United Saved, But Non-League Football May Yet Need Saving From The Weather

It is oft-repeated within football that smaller clubs may mean more to their supporters than larger ones do. Whether this is an accurate summation of the relationship between clubs of different sizes with their supporter bases is debatable, but there can be little question that the work done by supporters of Blue Square South club Welling United over the last few weeks must count as one of the more extraordinary acts of benevolence by a set of supporters in recent times. Welling, as so many other clubs of their size have over the last few years, fell into the trap of not paying their tax bill, to the point that they were facing a winding up order this month. They were deducted five points by the Football Conference’s Financial Reporting Initiative earlier this season and, some might say inevitably, also faced a winding up order presented by HMRC. The club’s outstanding tax bill was in the region of £90,000 and £30,000 was paid off by the club itself. After a plea for loans from supporters, however, the remaining amount owed under the winding up order has now been paid and the immediate threat to the club’s future has been staved off. This is a remarkable effort on the part of the supporters of the club. It is perhaps worth reflecting upon the fact that a club whose average home...

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