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League 1

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Swindon Town FC Exemplifies Lower League Problems

Lower league clubs are increasingly talking of big cuts in the size of their squads in the summer. The problems they face are exemplified by Swindon Town FC, lower mid-table in League 1. The Wiltshire club had one season in the Premiership, but has recently been in administration twice. A consortium bought it in January last year and paid off its £5m debts. The club was just beginning to get back on a sound financial footing when the recession struck. It is now difficult to find match sponsors at £1,250 a game or sponsors of individual players.

Stockport County FC In Trouble

League 1 side Stockport County have hit financial problems. Considerable efforts are being made to prevent the club going into administration. Stockport MP Ann Coffey managed to negotiate a stay of execution over its massive bill owing to the Inland Revenue (no suprise to learn that they, and hence the taxpayer, are the main creditors).

Gap Between Championship And Lower Leagues To Widen

The Championship will get a big boost next season from a new television contract, but the gap between it and the lower divisions of the Football League will widen. This may revive talk of a two division Premiership with no or limited promotion to the lower leagues. A new contract will increase the broadcasting income of the Football League from £32m a year at present to £88m. Under a long-established formula, Championship clubs will receive 80 per cent of the extra money from BSkyB and the BBC, but League One and Two will receive only 12 per cent and 8 per cent respectively.