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League 1


Millwall lose out in gentrification battle

It looks as if Millwall are going to lose out in their battle to prevent Lewisham Council placing a compulsory purchase order on land around their stadium.   The order could undermine the viability of the stadium and in particular the work of their Community Trust.

Spireites in trouble

Chesterfield face the threat of administration after the chairman and a number of directors resigned.  They need to find £500,000 before Christmas to cover expenses.

No one has expressed any interest in buying the club.   The town is relatively small (population 71,000) and quite close to the two clubs in Sheffield.   Many larger towns only manage to support Conference clubs, although there is a long football heritage.

No easy path for Bury

Lower league clubs in Greater Manchester face some of the biggest challenges of any clubs in securing financial stability.  The attractions of City and United are close at hand and these clubs are generally located in not particularly prosperous areas of the conurbation.

Bolton deny Saudi takeover reports

Bolton Wanderers have denied reports that they are in talks with a Saudi-based group about a takeover. In September chairman Ken Anderson did say that he was looking for more investment from abroad.

Before the takeover deal by a consortium in March the club had accumulated debts of £170m, although these were cleared as part of the settlement.   The club are currently under a transfer embargo for failing to comply with Financial Fair Play obligations.

Internal audit critical of Cobblers loan

An internal audit has found that a loan of 13.5 million pounds made to Northampton Town by Northampton Council was made too quickly, on the basis of inadequate information and with insufficient safeguards. This was partly because the then council leader and now local MP was pressing for it.  

In particular, the council failed to compare the rapid payment of tranches of the loan with the slow and stalled progress at the Sixfields stadium.

Football League restructuring scrapped

Plans for a restructuring of the Football League into a five league, 100-team competition have been scrapped after talks with the Football Association broke down.   The FA was not prepared to move FA Cup games to create more weekend slots for matches.

The plans were unpopular with the non-league system which would have lost its leading clubs.  Clubs might have found it difficult to financially sustain league membership.

Mystery of Council money for Cobblers

Northampton Council handed over £10.25m to Northampton Town despite concerns about the club's finances.   The money was meant to be for improvements to the stadium and a hotel to be built in the grounds.   What happened to it is now the subject of a police investigation.    The club is now under new ownership.

Bolton finances 'on right track'

Bolton Wanderers fans have been assured that the club's finances are 'on the right track'.   The club's accounts, which were due in March, have not been submitted to Companies House, but this should happen soon.   It is one of the factors delaying the lifting of a transfer embargo on the club.

Why would anyone buy Coventry City?

This is the question that has been posed by the Coventry Evening Telegraph.  Among their answers are the strength of the brand; a good catchment area with no rivals; low operating costs as tenants at the Ricoh; and a training ground that is a valuable asset.

Of course, one might ask why anyone would buy a football club.   Most owners lose money, with a few exceptions such as the leveraged buy out of Manchester United by the Glazers,

Checkatrade trophy still unpopular with fans

The latest series of matches in the Checkatrade or Football League trophy shows that the new format involving Premier League under 23 teams remains unpopular with fans.

The biggest attendance was at the derby between rivals Swindon Town and Oxford United at 2,698, but in fact it was the lowest attendance ever for a A420 derby.   Just 457 saw Barnet face Norwich City.   Portsmouth against Reading under 23s attracted the lowest attendance since 1945 and the 609 at Grimsby to see them play Leicester City under 23s was their lowest ever for a cup competition game.