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It was as rapid as it was unexpected. Farsley Celtic thought that they had dodged the bullet of a High Court winding up order brought by HMRC. They were forced into administration by the Australian brewing giant Coors – another one of their creditors – earlier this week to prevent the winding up order from going through today, but the Football Conference threw a curve ball at them has thrown them into an – if anything – even more serious crisis than the one that they were already in. They were notified this morning that they were to be demoted from the Blue Square North for falling into insolvency between the league’s AGM and the start of the season.
It isn’t the first time that this has happened, but there is an added sting in the tail for Farsley Celtic. The semi professional leagues have already announced their fixtures for the coming season. Farsley Celtic have no league to drop into. This isn’t a merely an issue that will surely now result in the closure of a club that was playing Blue Square Premier football just two years ago. It also causes the lower reaches of the English football pyramid a headache. Do they start next season’s Blue Square North with an odd number of clubs? This would almost certainly cause complaints. Someone would have a free weekend every week, and someone would miss out on potentially lucrative Christmas and Bank Holiday matches.
The alternatives would be to save someone from relegation, or to utilise the space which exists in the Unibond League at present because of the recent collapse of Newcastle Blue Star, but both sets of fixtures would have to be completely rewritten. Whether this would be possible just a few weeks before the start of the new season is open to question. Such matters may, however, be rendered irrelevant should Farsley seek to appeal against the Football Conference’s decision through the Football Association. The FA have the right to over-rule the decision, though the matter of whether they would, whilst in administration, be able to afford any sort of legal challenge to the Football Conference is also questionable. It worked for Northwich Victoria earlier this summer, though.
It seems likely that, in view of the logistical problems that this would result in, the club will be allowed to start next season, providing they are still a going concern by then. The Football Conference, however, have rules that everyone is aware of. Once Farsley entered into administration they had, in the eyes of their own rules, no option to but to expel them. They may well be keeping their fingers crossed that the FA appeal the decision. They would have been seen to be upholding their rules, the fixture list would remain in tact, and Farsley would end up being punished, in that they would almost certainly be deducted ten points for the start of the season. The alternative is the abyss.
And then, in a few weeks time, perhaps we can get on with the 2009/10 football season.
Ian began writing Twohundredpercent in May 2006. He lives in Brighton. He has also written for, amongst others, Pitch Invasion, FC Business Magazine, The Score, When Saturday Comes, Stand Against Modern Football and The Football Supporter. Ian was the first winner of the Socrates Award For Not Being Dead Yet at the 2010 NOPA awards for football bloggers.
As a Southampton fan I would be a lot happier if you could remove the (SO FAR) from the title.
Too many teams fates are being decided off the pitch. If a club can raise a team then let them play and leave them to sort out their finance s best they can
out; jan ,balde ,donati
[…] Celtic Out – The Biggest Casualty Of The Summer (So Far) (twohundredpercent) “It was as rapid as it was unexpected. Farsley Celtic thought that they had dodged the bullet of a High Court winding up order brought by HMRC. They were forced into administration by the Australian brewing giant Coors – another one of their creditors – earlier this week to prevent the winding up order from going through today, but the Football Conference threw a curve ball at them has thrown them into an – if anything – even more serious crisis than the one that they were already in.” […]
Celtic host Leeds Met Carnegie who play in the North East Counties First Division, if Celtic fold, Leeds Met have no home, and as someone on the LUFC list pointed out, the well-founded Carnegie foundation allowing that to happen when they have worked so hard to support the development of sport through Leeds Met in a wide range of sports.
@Wurzel. Quite right. Football clubs should be allowed to access ridiculous amounts of credit, pay players huge wages, overspend and generally mismanage their finances and then expect no consequences when they declare insolvency and wipe out those debts in one fell swoop.
Is that fair for the clubs who behave responsibly and only sign players when they can actually afford to pay their wages?
There’s a reason everyone in League One hates Leeds; don’t tell me you lot expect us to feel sorry for you?!?
Wurzel. THat’s all very well but is it fair?
Is it fair for example that Manchester United can run up a debt getting on for £1 Billion and win everything whilst a well run club that finishes each year in the black struggles because they don’t pay fees and wages beyond their means.