clubs in crisis

Football League

Divided They Fall: The Great Coventry City Schism

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It has been another busy few days for Coventry City Football Club, which has ended with questions again being asked in parliament about the administration process that has proved to be such a big part of where the club is now, a bizarre protest outside the City Council headquarters which involved just forty people and a statement from the council clarifying exactly why they are largely unable to comment upon the club's continuing exile thirty-five miles away in Northampton.

Just Give Them What They Want: Ethics & The Sisu Model At Coventry City

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This afternoon, more than three and a half thousand Coventry City supporters have made the journey to Vale Park to watch their team play Port Vale in League One. Under normal circumstances, there wouldn't be anything particularly remarkable about this. Coventry City is, after all, a storied club that is playing below what we might consider to be its "natural" level in League One at the moment.

Coventry City: Roles & Responsibilities, Part Two

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We will, at a later date, go into the increasingly farcical situation regarding the registration of players of Coventry City, which company may or may not have owned what, and what this may mean, not only for the administration process at the club but also for how thee Football League has dealt with this all.

Here Comes The Judge: Coventry City & The Judicial Review

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It has been another long few days for the supporters of Coventry City Football Club, but this evening, as the club's team plays its second competitive match of the season at Leyton Orient in the Football League Cup, there are, for the first time, signs that the balance of power in terms of the future of the club might even be starting to tilt back into the balance for the first time.

Coventry City: Roles & Responsibilities

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Another meeting is being held today regarding the signature of the CVA which the owners of Coventry City hope will be the end of the club's spell in administration. As long-time followers of this story will already be aware, a considerable issue with regard to this story has been the small matter of which company is which, who owns what and who was legally responsible for what.

Coventry City: Questions & Deductive Reasoning

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There are now just three days left until the start of the new season, but still the future of Coventry City Football Club remains in the balance. After the end of talks yesterday which were aimed at getting Ricoh Arena owners ACL to agree to the CVA which will allow the club to exit from administration and secure the transfer of ownership of the club from, well, one part of the same body of companies to another, the standard response has been to suggest that this Friday is a deadline that absolutely, completely, utterly, must be met if the club is not leap headlong into the abyss.

The Coventry City Debacle Makes It To Parliament

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At lunchtime today the supporters of Coventry City Football Club will march again. Over the last two or three weeks or so, the penny has started to drop that this city is set to have its football club ripped from it, stolen by the sleight of hand of its owners whilst those who are charged with the job of regulating the game have stood by impotently, full of press releases that express "regret" whilst doing nothing to impose their will over the small matter of keeping a football club in its home town.

Coventry City Supporters: Real Fans Sold Down The River By The Football League

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"Real football, real fans," reads the banner at the head of the Football League's website, but seldom can those words ever rung more hollow than they do this evening. The Football League today ratified the departure of Coventry City to Sixfields, the home of Northampton Town. A football club has replanted to a community that isn't its own, dragged away against the will of its supporters by owners who have given no indication that they are even in Coventry in the first place for any other reason than their own enrichment or, at least, a business plan which might have enriched them but hasn't gone anything like according to plan.

Is It Time For A New Football Club For Coventry?

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There comes a point in any story when its whys and wherefores start to pale in comparison with that story's broader significance. What has happened to Coventry City Football Club over the last twelve months or so has been picked over so many times that it feels as if we've reached the point at which there is nothing more to say that isn't an over-familiar circular argument.

Coventry City To Northampton: Another Sky Blue Day Of Reckoning

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So the new home of Coventry City Football Club will not be in the West Midlands, and neither will it be within thirty miles of the city of Coventry itself. It was confirmed last night by the Coventry Telegraph last night that the club is seeking ratification from the Football League to move from the city that has been its home for the last one hundred and thirty years to Northampton.

Confusion Or Obfuscation? Further Clouding Over The Sky Blues

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Yesterday lunchtime, around one hundred and fifty people and, perhaps more significantly, representatives of both the written and broadcast media, who were there to report on the story met at The Ricoh Arena to protest against the recent events concerning Coventry City Football Club. Slowly but surely, the size of these protests is starting to grow as the reality of the chicanery that has been going on at the club over the last year or so starts to become increasingly apparent.

The Morning After Coventry City’s Night Before

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A battle may have been lost, but the war certainly isn't over yet. As anger amongst Coventry City supporters hit a new crescendo at the end of last weekfollowing the decision by the administrator of the club, Paul Appleton, to sell it back to, effectively, the company that had put it into administration in the first place, albeit via a different legal entity exactly the sort of legal sleight of hand which give the industry such a bad name in the first place it is starting to feel as if the times are a-changing, with a new spirit of protest having been born amongst some and even,albeit a tiny minority at the moment,are even starting to saythat it might even be better to sever links and start afresh with a new club than to continue to fund SISU's desecration of their club.

Meet The New Boss, Same As The Old Boss: Coventry City’s Familiar Preferred Bidders

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If you were to look for a microcosm of everything that is wrong about English insolvency law in the twenty-first century, you couldn't find a much better example than the short period in administration of Coventry City Football Club Limited. A company which owed money effectively to itself put the company into administration, therefore getting their choice of man in the job.

Grey Clouds Obscure The Sky Blues: No End In Sight For Coventry City

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It is turning out to be another eventful week for the put-upon supporters of Coventry City Football Club. It has only been four days since our last update on the subject but enough has happened since then to warrant it, with further developments over the last couple of days only further clouding waters that had in recent weeks already become so muddy as to be practically impenetrable.

Grey Clouds Obscure The Sky Blues: No End In Sight For Coventry City

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It is turning out to be another eventful week for the put-upon supporters of Coventry City Football Club. It has only been four days since our last update on the subject but enough has happened since then to warrant it, with further developments over the last couple of days only further clouding waters that had in recent weeks already become so muddy as to be practically impenetrable.

Coventry City’s Summer Of Confusion Continues

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It may feel a little as if there is a yawning chasm of a summer ahead of us, but there are actually only eight weeks left now until the start of the new season in the Football League. Bearing this in mind, it is understandable that supporters of Coventry City Football Club may be starting to wonder whether their team will actually be able to begin next season at the moment.

Coventry City’s Summer Of Confusion Continues

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It may feel a little as if there is a yawning chasm of a summer ahead of us, but there are actually only eight weeks left now until the start of the new season in the Football League. Bearing this in mind, it is understandable that supporters of Coventry City Football Club may be starting to wonder whether their team will actually be able to begin next season at the moment.

Coventry City’s Summer Of FUD

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'Fear, Uncertainty and Distrust' is a phrase with its roots in information technology, but it has become increasingly used elsewhere to describe a culture in which companies play sophisticated and sometimes less than sophisticated psychological tricks in order to force their will upon others. It is difficult to interpret the statement issued yesterday by the chief bottom feeder at Coventry City, Tim Fisher, which states that the club is now to seek a short term ground-share while it seeks to build a new stadium 'in the vicinity' of the city as a result of its ongoing dispute with the owners of its presumably soon to be former home, the Ricoh Arena, as being 'FUD' of the first order.

Can We Have £1m Please? Bury FC’s Surprising Plea To Investors

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The eyes of a global television audience were focused upon Old Trafford on Monday night as two clubs who dominate the national football landscape but share the same city played out the latest instalment in a drama that has been rumbling away for decades. Professional football in Manchester, however, is a world of haves and have-nots and this week, seven miles from the centre of the city, a familiar storm is brewing.

Can We Really Trust the ‘Football Men’?

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The Football Men. Those 'fixers' concerned with the buying and selling of football clubs. People who carry the sobriquet with some chutzpah and have a covert influence on the financial health of the game and in some cases the very existence of individual clubs. Are they really fit and proper people to be entrusted with the task they take upon themselves?

A Day Of Anticipated Outcomes For Coventry City

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So it turns out that the most obvious explanation is exactly that for obvious reasons, in this case. The Football League, an organisation which has become highly attuned to people trying to game the system over the last ten years or so, passed its verdict on Coventry City today and that verdict was as expected: a ten point deduction with immediate effect which effectively ends the club's already faltering chances of making the League One play-offs at the end of this season.

Anticipated Outcomes For Coventry City

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So it turns out that the most obvious explanation is exactly that for obvious reasons, in this case. The Football League, an organisation which has become highly attuned to people trying to game the system over the last ten years or so, passed its verdict on Coventry City today and that verdict was as expected: a ten point deduction with immediate effect which effectively ends the club's already faltering chances of making the League One play-offs at the end of this season.

Coventry City Prepare For League Judgement

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It has been a day of drama which in many respects revealed very little for Coventry City. The club's recent tit-for-tat spat between its hedge fund owners SISU and ACL, who run the stadium that the club had been using for the previous year (but not paying rent to use for more than a year, now) had been threatening to blow up for some considerable time now, with patience on the part of ACL having been worn threadbare by what consistently looked like hard-headed negotiation by the club's owners.

Coventry City Prepare For The Football League’s Judgement

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It has been a day of drama which in many respects revealed very little for Coventry City. The club's recent tit-for-tat spat between its hedge fund owners SISU and ACL, who run the stadium that the club had been using for the previous year (but not paying rent to use for more than a year, now) had been threatening to blow up for some considerable time now, with patience on the part of ACL having been worn threadbare by what consistently looked like hard-headed negotiation by the club's owners.

Utter Confusion Reigns At Coventry City

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It has been a busy week for Coventry City Football Club. On the pitch the team itself remains just three points from the play-off places as the season ends its closing stages, but few eyes are concentrated on events on the pitch at present, as the breakdown in the relations between ACL, the company which manages The Ricoh Arena, and SISU, the hedge fund which owns the club, now threatens to spiral out of all control to the extent at which it ceases to become an overstatement to suggest that the very future of this football club is now at stake.

Utter Confusion Reigns At Coventry City

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It has been a busy week for Coventry City Football Club. On the pitch the team itself remains just three points from the play-off places as the season ends its closing stages, but few eyes are concentrated on events on the pitch at present, as the breakdown in the relations between ACL, the company which manages The Ricoh Arena, and SISU, the hedge fund which owns the club, now threatens to spiral out of all control to the extent at which it ceases to become an overstatement to suggest that the very future of this football club is now at stake.

The Venky’s Scattergun Approach Strikes Again At Blackburn

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Farewell then, Michael Appleton. After sixty-seven days and fifteen matches, the former Portsmouth and Blackpool manager and that's just this season- became the third manager to leave Blackburn Rovers as the itchy trigger finger of the club's owners, Venkys, got the better of them yet again. There was a time, roughly a year ago, when it seemed as if the owners of the club were almost swivel-eyed in their devotion to its then-manager, Steve Kean, but those days must seem like a long time ago for the supporters of a club that might yet be sliding towards a second successive relegation, this time from the Championship.

Scottish football

Rangers: More Money Madness

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The news that Rangers International Football Club plc (RIFC) lost, on average, £1.1m-per-month in its first financial accounting period, wasn't "news" to everyone. A number of bloggers alleged to be "Rangers-haters" said "the figures don't add up" as soon as the new Rangers set-up started playing last July.

“The Boys From The West Of Scotland Don’t Scare Easily”: Rangers At War

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It comes to something when John Brown produces the most prescient analysis of your football club's fortunes. Last summer, the ex-Rangers man told anyone who wanted to listen (and a fair few who didn't) that he knew "what's going on" at Rangers, in the early days of no-nonsense Yorkshireman Charles Green's lively leadership.

Dunfermline Athletic Likely To Be Saved… But At A Price

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At the start of yesterday, the fate of Dunfermline Athletic hung very much in the balance, but at least by its end it was a little clearer. The Scottish First Division club had until five o'clock yesterday to pay an outstanding £134,000 bill to HMRC over unpaid tax or face the threat of liquidation, and in the middle of yesterday afternoon the club the club confirmed that it was to seek to enter into administration in order to side-step the inevitable insolvency proceedings brought against the club by the taxman.

Dunfermline Athletic Likely To Be Saved… But At A Price

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At the start of yesterday, the fate of Dunfermline Athletic hung very much in the balance, but at least by its end it was a little clearer. The Scottish First Division club had until five o'clock yesterday to pay an outstanding £134,000 bill to HMRC over unpaid tax or face the threat of liquidation, and in the middle of yesterday afternoon the club the club confirmed that it was to seek to enter into administration in order to side-step the inevitable insolvency proceedings brought against the club by the taxman.

non league

The Death Of Hinckley United?

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Yesterday afternoon at Meadow Park in Chesham, Buckinghamshire, Chesham United defeated Hinckley United by three goals to nil in the Premier Division of the Calor Gas Southern Football League. Under different circumstances, it would have been the most unassuming of matches. Chesham United are chasing promotion at the top of the table, while their visitors are just above the relegation places at the foot of the table, and on the pitch the outcome of this match was never likely to be in any great doubt.

Non-League Week: A Bankruptcy To Shame All Of English Football

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This weekend sees the coming of this year's Non-League Day, so over the course of the next five days we'll be taking a look at the state of the non-league game at the start of this season. We start with a bad news story from the Southern League which involves a somewhat familiar name. You can find out more about Non-League Day by clicking here.

Aldershot Town: When Is A Deadline Not A Deadline?

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The pre-season is slowly but surely starting to rumble to life, but down in Hampshire there is one football club for whom supporters might well be wondering whether it is all worth it this weekend. Aldershot Town's relegation from the Football League, which was swiftly followed by entering into administration following months of financial mismanagement and boardroom bickering, has put a club formed from the ashes of a previous incarnation which itself had gone to the wall a little over twenty years ago into a uniquely precarious position.

Tales From The Old Spotted Dog: What Clapton FC Means

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Forest Gate in East London is an unlikely setting for a football revolution, but the last twelve months have proved a life-affirming period for one of English football's most historic clubs. Formed in 1878, Clapton FC forged a reputation as one the country's leading amateur sides, winning the FA Amateur Cup five times and twice claiming the Isthmian League title.

Shots In The Dark: Aldershot Town’s Summer Hangover

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Relegation from the Football League at the end of last season was a bitter blow for the supporters of Aldershot Town Football Club, but it hasn't taken long for it to start to feel as if even this was only the beginning of the the club's problems. It took less than five days from this demotion being confirmed for the club to placed into administration, but the release of the administrator's report at the end of last week by Quantuma Restructuring, the company appointed by club director Michael McGinty to manage the administration, have shown the financial condition of the club to be worse than had been widely anticipated prior to their release.

The Aldershot Phoenix Becomes Icarus As The AGM Cup Looms Again

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In sport, as in so many other aspects of life, timing can be everything. It was, perhaps, somewhat unfortunate that Aldershot Town went into a final League Two match of the season that they needed to win against a Rotherham United side that needed a win to clinch an automatic promotion place themselves.

Farnborough FC Takes Just Six Years To Hit Administration Again

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It was in March 1992 that Aldershot Football Club became the first Football League club since Accrington Stanley in 1962 to close its doors in the middle of a season, and now the man that was responsible for that is involved at another club that is set to enter into administration. He was known as Spencer Trethewy at the time and made enough headlines when, in 1990, he took control of the Shots at just nineteen years of age on the back of a £200,000 signed affidavit.

Killing The Old Spotted Dog: The Battle To Save Clapton FC

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The Essex Senior League is eight divisions from the Premier League, but the world of its clubs is so far removed from the glamour and glitter of the elite that they may as well inhabit different universes. This is football as a hand to mouth existence, where players are seldom paid much more than expenses and clubs subsist on crowds that often fail to even reach three figures.

The Rest

SISU Open A Potential Can Of Worms Over Coventry City & State Aid

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It was a rumour that had been circulating for some considerable time, with little substantiation, that Coventry City's dispute with the owners of their stadium, ACL, had little to do with the fairness or otherwise of the amount of money that the club was paying in rent for its use of The Ricoh Arena.