Day: April 27, 2012

Another Week On The Edge For Rangers

It’s not as easy as it looks, this administration lark. In my time writing on football finance, I have yet to experience any sympathy for an administrator, or believe that maybe senior ones are earning their weekly wage packets-per-hour. But gone is the sense that Dave Clark and Paul Whitehouse would have been better administrators than Paul Clark and David Whitehouse of Duff & Phelps, because whatever their previous faults, most of this week in the legal and political minefield which is 21st-century Rangers has not been their fault. It is only slowly dawning on pro-Rangers observers of the Ibrox insolvency that dreams of a clean, unpunished exit from administration were piped. However, the labyrinthine complications and regular court cases have surprised few observers who looked, or wanted to look, properly. The wretched Craig Whyte (now rivalling the repugnant Jack Warner as the “worst man in football”) was never going to make his ousting easy. He has made his money for years through involvement in financial basket cases, using insolvency legislation to turn them around at minimum personal cost while securing his position as beneficiary of any onward sale of any debt-free, ahem, “newCo.” He also remains an inadequate human being, as his initial reaction to his lifetime ban from Scottish football demonstrated. BBC website reports on Tuesday morning quoted him as saying: “It doesn’t affect my life, I’m...

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Final Day Shoot-Outs In The Ryman League

It is not that often that league title races are open enough to go to the final day of the season with the whereabouts of the championship trophy still undecided, but this season two of the divisions of the Ryman League will end with five clubs still hoping to win automatic promotion as champions of their division. In the Premier Division, the race is already over with Billericay Town having clinched the title and promotion to the Blue Square Bet last weekend, but the two divisions below this, no less than five clubs will go into the final day with the hope amongst hopes that they could still avoid the play-offs and lift a piece of silverware.  In the Division One North it is a straight two-way battle between Leiston and Enfield Town, but even this is a race that perhaps should have been over sooner. Leiston had managed to pull clear a little at the top of the table, but they then stumbled and last weekend travelled to North London to play an Enfield side that had been doggedly hanging on in their slipstream. In front of a season-high crowd of 602 and with the clock ticking past ninety minutes the score was goalless. It looked as if Leiston were going to hang on for the point that they needed to secure the title, but a penalty in stoppage...

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Northwich Victoria: Time To Step Away From This Sinking Ship

There is always something faintly pathetic about the list of creditors for a football club’s proposed CVA. It’s not so much the big creditors that sink the heart – after all, those that pour money into the black hole of a football club, for example, have paid their money and taken their choice – but the smaller creditors that tug at the heart-strings. This is as true in the case of the CVA proposed for Northwich Victoria FC at the end of 2009 as for any other. It’s difficult not to feel sympathy for  Anthony’s Travel of Runcorn, a coach hire company which ended up being owed £16,178 by the club – a lot of money for a small business – while the stomach can only turn a little at the inclusion of a £5,889.13 debt to Blessed Thomas Holford Catholic College, a school at which the club used for training sessions. This CVA, however, reached its conclusion in February when the administrator, Gary Pettit of the Northampton-based company Marshman Price, requested its cancellation at the Manchester High Court. No payments had been made as per the agreement reached and in his report to the court, Pettit noted (with a degree of almost tangible exasperation) that, “the purchaser [chairman Jim Rushe] sought to claim payments were not due and pleaded ignorance to their obligations.” With the CVA having failed,...

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