Farnborough FC Takes Just Six Years To Hit Administration Again

Ian

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.

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3 Responses

  1. Nigel L says:

    Farnborough’s debts are historic in the sense they were mainly incurred before Spencer Day had any involvement with Farnborough. The previous owner, Simon Hollis, went on a spending spree that turned out to be mostly unfunded and he was eventually declared bankrupt, along with his wife Amanda. Hollis’s motivation had been to get one over Woking, a club he had supported as a boy, who he thought had shafted his step-father. This motive coloured his decisions somewhat, resulting in some ridiculous outlays, particularly when it became clear that his main line of business, in property development, was imploding due to the recession, unwise investments and high-gearing.

    Day arrived at the club in 2011, initially as manager and later as owner, with his reputation seemingly restored after a successful and trouble-free spell at Chertsey Town. At the time he also had acquired significant personal wealth from his activities as managing partner of HH Finance. This changed in summer 2012 when he admitted in a fans; forum that a significant sum, rumoured to be £9M, was tied up in an offshore account which he could no longer access due to a dispute of some kind. Since then, outgoings have been stripped to the bone, with the intention of running the club on a break even basis whilst resolving his personal financial issue/seeking new investment/negotiating settlements with historic creditors. The signing of Reece Connolly, a reserve team striker at Aldershot, for £12,000 last autumn looks anomalous – however the club maintains that the fee was funded by a third-party potential investor with strict conditions attached. The idea was to help Reece make his mark in first team football and to sell him on at a profit.

    The pressure has built up since then, with revenues falling short of expectations leading to further cost cutting while potential investors are scared off by the historic debt. In the latter part of Simon Hollis’s ownership, after the resignation of his brother Neale Dent as Finance Director, the bookkeeping deteriorated to such an extent that the club has been unable to submit accounts to Companies House for that period. This is why Day, in public interviews, talks about the club being hit with new claims that he wasn’t aware of.

    The contrast with Aldershot is clear. The new Aldershot club was set up on a firm financial footing and their problems only started once they had moved up the leagues only to find their revenue streams were not increasing in line with expenses. John McGinty generously supported the Shots for a time, but since his death the problems have mounted.

    On the other hand, the new Farnborough club embarked on a risky and ambitious plan that worked for 18 months or so before the cracks started appearing. Latterly the club has been run much more sensibly, but it’s too late now. There is no realistic prospect of paying down the debts incurred so administration is the inevitable outcome.

  2. VP says:

    A correction – in your piece you say “The Football Conference has strict rules in place with regard to insolvency events at its member clubs, far more strict than any other league”.

    They’re not ‘far more strict than any other league’. The FA have Standardised Rules for the leagues in the National League System. The rule you quote is the same throughout the pyramid at steps 1 to 6.

  1. August 14, 2013

    […] South side Farnborough FC went into administration in April — an extra depressing turn of events for a club that had only been founded six years earlier […]

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