Forty-Eight Hours To Save Lewes Football Club

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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6 Responses

  1. Micky F says:

    Sad to think that a club founded in the same year as my beloved Luton Town could be wound up for owing less than what some Premiership players earn in a week. Sadly letting Steve King go seems to have been the start of the rot. A very strange decision, I can’t remember hearing of a championship manager being let go in this way before. Any Lewes fans out there who can let us know what the board were thinking?

  2. Simon Cope says:

    “…letting Steve King go seems to have been the start of the rot.”

    I think the rot had well and truly set in by that point – as the article points out the club effectively reached the Conference by overspending and not managing its budget correctly, culminating in the crisis point of Steve King leaving, and subsequently the problems with HMRC. As ever with situations like this I have the utmost sympathy for the fans, but ultimately the crisis was brought upon the club by its own actions, and that reason alone stops me reaching in my pocket for the inevitable virtual bucket collection.

  3. Peter M says:

    The board knew they had allowed King to overspend, and tried to rein things back using local players and a lower budget. The owner could no longer afford to bankroll the club with an end of season cheque.

    Predictably, Lewes were found out on the pitch, and an early cup exit (to Leiston) meant that financial salvation from prize money was lost.

    The club was really insolvent at this point, and should have entered administration once an appeal for new investors fell on deaf ears.

    They have chosen to defy logic and soldier on, and cut back on expenses going forward so that they are not continuing to sustain further losses. The team is largely made up of youngsters from the U18 side.

    The real problem is the historic debt, and no means of reducing it quickly enough to a realistic level. Debts to HMRC are only a fraction of the total owed, the majority of which is “soft debt” to the companies of the owner.

    He has been reluctant to write off any more of that debt (he has written off some of it), and potential new investors will not put money in with these considerable liabilities on the company books.

    The company has no real assets other than the facilities, but the stadium is leased from the local Council. Two of the players are worth money in the transfer window, but someone has to be willing to buy them, and with the present position of the club it is not a sellers market.

  4. Martin says:

    County/lower Ryman League side get bankrolled up the pyramid to spend one glorious season in non-league’s top flight then go bust shortly afterwards.

    Seen it all before, sadly.

  1. January 11, 2010

    [...] (who play at the charmingly named Dripping Pan), were paying for mismanagement and over-ambition. Two Hundred Percent sadly reports that they are now just 48 hours for extinction, facing the taxman the third time for £48,000 of [...]

  2. January 11, 2010

    [...] Forty-Eight Hours To Save Lewes Football Club “When the players of Blue Square South club Lewes take the pitch at Aggborough against Blue Square Premier club Kidderminster Harriers in the Second Round of this year’s FA Trophy, they will do so with the knowledge that the match could be their last. The club faces a third winding up order at the High Court on Wednesday morning over an outstanding tax debt of £48,000, and the very fact that this is their third appearance at the court doesn’t bode particularly well. There is no finite number of occasions that insolvency proceedings heard at court can be deferred, but the likelihood that they will be able to persuade a judge of the merits of allowing them to continue to trade drops with every case.” (twohundredpercent) [...]

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