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The Championship


Winding up order expected at Bolton

Bolton Wanderers expect to receive a winding up order from Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs in the next few days.   The club owes £600k in unpaid taxes.   They are thought to need £15m to get to the end of the season.

Spending money by the sea

The author of the Swiss Ramble blog has turned his attention to Brighton and Hove Albion and provides a fascinating and in depth financial portrait of the club.

Like virtually all Championship clubs, the Seagulls lose money big time and are reliant on funding by their owners.   Some owners are more generous than others and there is no doubt that Tony Bloom has pumped huge sums into the club.

Nottingham Forest submit accounts

Nottingham Forest have submitted their accounts for 2014-15 to the Football League for assessment under the financial fair play system.   Having lost £22m in 2013-14, they have reduced their wage bill and benefitted from player sales.   They are thought not to be far off the required limit of £6m.   However, they anticipate the transfer embargo being lifted in the summer rather than Janaury.

Brighton make big losses

The difficulties of competing effectively in the Championship without parachute payments are shown by the accounts of league leaders Brighton and Hove Albion for the 2014-5 season. They reported losses of £10.44m.

The club finished 20th last season which helps to explain why turnover declined by £300k to £23.7m. Operational efficiencies helped to hold down administrative costs, but footballing costs were up and represented 100 per cent of turnover, twice the recommended level.

Hopes grow at Bolton

Hopes of a deal to save Bolton Wanderers are growing.   The club is perilously close to going into administration, leading to a points deduction and almost certain relegation to League One.

However, four parties have a serious interest in buying the club and it may be possible to conclude a deal by early next week.  

A Bolton problem or a north-west problem?

Half of the twelve clubs that formed the Football League in 1888 were from the north-west of England.   Along with the Midlands, it was the cradle of English football.   No London clubs were among the original founders.

Bolton's situation is perilous

Bolton's situation has become more complicated after it was revealed that chairman Phil Gartside is seriously ill.   The club enjoyed eleven years in the Premiership under his leadership, but have found life more difficult after their return to the Championship where they are currently bottom of the table.

The club has debts of £170m and there is no money available even for a single loan deal.  The search is on for new investors, but they are currently thin on the ground and there are other clubs on the market such as Wolves.

The use of television to protest

Paul Breen discusses how fans are using live televised games to make a point.   At Middlesbrough, it was a 'Save Our Steel' campaign.   Elsewhere, Charlton and Leeds fans are increasingly cooperating over the mismanagement of their clubs with Addicks supporters hoping to make use of a live televised game against Ipswich Town on Saturday week.

Scarves as symbols of protest

Paul Breen discusses how scarves have been adopted as symbols of protest by football fans.   This was started with the green and gold protest at Manchester United.   It didn't dislodge the Glazers, but it did give a boost to the supporters' trust.    The tactic was also adopted by Arsenal fans over the issue of high ticket prices.

Cortese considers Leeds takeover

Former Southampton chairman Nicola Cortese is considering a takeover of Leeds United.  He is contemplating an attempt to buy out Massimo Cellino.

Not without reason, Cortese believes that Leeds could be a leading force in English football.  They have been in the past and Leeds is a regional capital within the Northern Powerhouse that the government is boosting.  This may be more rheotoric than substance, but Leeds as a city is prospering. At the moment, however, there is no real crossover between the club and the city it represents.