Tag: Sheffield Wednesday

2010: A Football Financial Review

You could frame it. If you wanted a short, pithy representation of all that has been wrong with football finance in 2010, you could do no better than quote a Plymouth Argyle fan known as “Sensible Surfer” on the BBC Football website over the Christmas period. “Ridsdale set to take control… good news,” he/she said, a phrase which would sit nicely as an explanation of irony…except that it didn’t appear to BE irony. And it served as fair comment on Argyle’s current state that, relatively, Peter Ridsdale – the failed former Leeds and Cardiff chairman and serial over-borrower – IS good news for the cash and panic-stricken South Westerners, with the heaviest possible emphasis on the word ‘relatively.’ If professional football entered 2010 in a state of moral and financial bankruptcy, it is leaving it in much the same manner. Certain football problems have been “solved.” Some more have emerged. While others, hello Portsmouth, look set to run forever. The “greater fool” theory still underpins much of the game’s financial strategies. The theory is about as scientific as it sounds – buying something in the belief that you will be able to sell it again for a higher price (to a “greater fool”), regardless of what has happened in the meantime (increased debts, usually), or even whether the original price was rooted in reality. Finding a “greater fool” is...

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Wednesday Weakness

Now that Sheffield Wednesday’s takeover is imminent, it is instructive to look in detail at some aspects of the tale. There is no doubt that the vast majority of the cast have been playing games of some sort while the club has sunk further into the financial mire. Chief Executive Nick Parker may have been shaking with anger at some of the when he stood outside London’s High Court last Wednesday. But even he played a game or two in his time. People such as former director and friend of the current board Mick Wright are doing their best to let the games continue, now that the threat of administration has been averted for yet another bit. And there was a curious little background twist a couple of weeks ago, shortly after the consortium fronted by former Wednesday player/manager/you-name-it Chris Turner began to unravel. The Sheffield Wednesday Shareholders Association had an idea. And on November 2nd they “urgently” proposed the following “solution” to Wednesday’s woes: “We would like to call on all four major shareholders of Sheffield Wednesday Football Club (Wednesdayite, Keith Addy, Geoff Hulley and Dave Allen) to pool their shareholding and make these available to any investor approved by the Bank and prepared to pay a minimum of £600,000 to HMRC.” £600,000 was the money being petitioned for by the tax authorities in those long-ago, happier times....

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Sheffield Wednesday Go To The Wire

Monday came and went, and nothing happened. Tuesday has now come and gone, and nothing has happened. The future of Sheffield Wednesday Football Club hangs by a knife-edge, with the club having apparently made the enormously high risk decision to not put the club into administration (which would protect them from the winding up order that HMRC have presented) and to attempt to buy themselves a little time at the High Court instead. They claim to have four parties interested in buying the club – although it is worth pointing out that the Certified Oil Rentals group, which was involved in talks that collapsed recently, is not amongst them – but this will be enough the persuade the registrar that they deserve another break? It is worth quickly remembering what has happened to Sheffield Wednesday since the start of this season. In brief, they have already survived one winding up order after the Co-operative Bank, in a display of supreme co-operation, paid off the amount of money – £600,000 – owed to HMRC. That option is not there for the club this time. The bank was acting in its own interests in paying off this amount of money for the club, and it has evidently decided that this is not action that it can continue to take to prop the football club up. The proposed take-over bid by Certified...

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FA Cup Match Of The Week Part Three: Southport 2-5 Sheffield Wednesday

It’s Sunday morning, and some of those that have travelled from South Yorkshire to the Lancashire coast could be forgiven for nursing sore heads. In Sheffield Wednesday’s recent history there hasn’t been a great deal to smile about, and things may yet get more difficult for the club before they get any easier. They could well be in administration in the next ten days or so and, set against such problems, a trip to Southport to play the Blue Square Premier side in the First Round of the FA Cup surely falls into the category of being just about the last that the club needs at the moment. Wednesday have failed to win their last three league matches and, with League One being such a tight division this season, this has meant a drop to tenth place in the table. The niggling suspicion, however, is that they will have bigger fish to fry than this match over the next couple of weeks. Southport FC have a story of their own to tell, of course. They were the last club to be voted out of the Football League, replaced by Wigan Athletic in 1978, and a year later missed out on a place in the newly-formed Alliance Premier League. They finally made it into non-league football’s top division (which, by this time, had been rebranded as the Football Conference) in...

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Fourteen Days Left To Save Sheffield Wednesday. Again.

There were over 20,000 people at Hillsborough last night to Sheffield Wednesday lose at home to Huddersfield Town in League One and, much as that defeat may have dented the home side’s chances of promotion this season, the overwhelming feeling this week has been that Wednesday have got bigger fish to fry at the moment than the mere attainment of points in the league. It is now two months since Wednesday were last at the High Court, having their debt to HMRC paid off by the Co-Operative Bank in order to stave off a winding up order. This may have protected the bank’s position in the short-term, but Wednesday have managed to find a route back to being before the judge – the amount paid off in September was merely the amount in the petition, so the club finds itself back to square one again. Against this background the search for new ownership for the club continues, but the club hit a major snag this week with the news that a buyout by Kevin Mundie’s Certified Oilfield Rentals group has hit the buffers. Sheffield Wednesday are back in court on the seventeenth of November, and it seems at the very best highly unlikely that Wednesday will be bailed out by the bank again. If they don’t have new owners by the day of the next winding up hearing, they...

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