Day: July 6, 2012

George Rolls Out Of Kettering Town

Farewell for now, then, George. At six o’clock this evening, the Football Association issued a statement confirming that George Rolls, the former chairman of Cambridge United and Weymouth, latterly of Kettering Town, had been found guilty of over 3,000 charges of their rules relating to betting, along with a small number of charges of “Misconduct relating to his conduct during the investigation of the alleged breaches of the Betting rules.” The punishment for his misdemeanors was strong, to say the least. Rolls has been banned from any involvement in football for five years, fined £10,000 and warned about his future conduct. The charges related to betting irregularities between the years 2007-2010, when he was on the board of Cambridge United and also associated with Weymouth FC, although it should be pointed out that both of these clubs have already been advised by the FA that these charges were personal to Rolls and that their clubs would not face investigation regarding them. He has been left with no option but to leave Kettering Town with immediate effect and, with the FA having issued a thinly-veiled warning that this ban would include any influence, management and administration in football – which would seem to hint at concerns over the idea of him getting involved in some form of shadow directorship – it seems that his involvement in the game may actually have come...

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Caveat Emptor: The Glazers Prepare To Float Manchester United

There is a certain irony to Manchester United announcing their IPO in the same week as the Supporters Direct annual conference is held in London. While there are those that amongst us that still believe that the route towards a successful, inclusive and financially sustainable future lays in giving the supporters of clubs an active role in their running, the behemoth that has sat astride the Premier League for the last two decades is taking another step away from accountability and a step towards having, effectively, somebody else pay for their debts whilst having no say in the running of the club.  “Our indebtedness could adversely affect our financial health and competitive position”, says the document filed with the New York Stock Exchange in preparation for the clubs flotation, without, of course, asking the question of how one of the richest football clubs could possibly have found itself a little over £423m in debt. Since the Glazer family took advantage of the rules of the stock exchange over £500m has been spent on servicing the debt, including £108.6m in one year – to the end of June 2010 – as the Glazers refinanced the clubs debts. It is impossible to reach any conclusion other than that the club has found itself in the financial position in which it is today because of circumstances entirely brought about by the Glazers themselves....

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