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League 2


Bradford City may have to leave Valley Parade

One time Premiership club Bradford City may have to leave Valley Parade and ground share with rugby league outfit Bradford Bulls at Odsal.   While such ground sharing arrangements with rugby teams have an economic rationale and are increasingly being resorted to as cost pressures mount, egg chasing can cut up a ground badly.

New challenges for Vale

Port Vale FC face new financial challenges after they were told they would have to start paying back a £2.5m loan to Stoke-on-Trent city council.  The loan was originally made in 2007 but the club was given a two year repayment holiday because of the recession.   That has now come to an end.

Big cut in Football League TV deal

The Football League's revenue from its television deal will be cut by 26 per cent from 2012-13.  The BBC currently has a joint deal with Sky but did not feel in a financial position to bid.   Against that background the Football League was able to negotiate a three-year deal at £195m compared with the current £264m.

Taxman fails to fast track court battle

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have failed in a bid to fast track a legal action against the Football League's insolvency rule.   The tax authorities believe that the football creditor rule is unlawful.  It prioritises the payment of football creditors such as players, managers and clubs over all other creditors in an administration.   They were disconcerted to get only 5p in the £ following the Portsmouth FC administration.

Shrimpers face new winding-up petition

Southend United are facing another winding-up petition for unpaid taxes thought to be around £30,000.   The club has been losing £100,000 a month.   It has faced a number of financial crises over the past couple of years.   It has secured permisssion from the local council in the last couple of days for a phased construction of a new stadium at Fossetts Farm, but funding remains an issue.

League supremo warns of debt precipice

Football league chairman Greg Clarke has told the Commons committee investigating football that clubs are heading for a 'debt precipice'.  Interviewed later on Radio 5, he said that debt was on the increase and even if one took steps to cut it now it would be five years before any effect was seen.  At the risk of repetition, it is perhaps worth pointing out that what matters with debt is not its absolute size but whether you can service it.

Fans battle to beat freeze

Fans around the country have been lending a hand to clear snow and ice for Boxing Day matches.   The pitch is generally left to ground staff because of the risk of damage, although at my non-league club fans were asked to help there with plastic shovels.   Premier League clubs like Wolves have undersoil heating systems working at full blast, but ice in the stands and on approaches poses a safety risk to fans who can volunteer to help clear it.

Vale fans unhappy with board

Although Port Vale are currently 2nd in League 2, fans are unhappy with the board's reluctance to accept new investment.    They feel that the club has the potential to return to what is now the Championship, but they are concerned that the board's stance may turn Port Vale into Port Fail.   About 100 supporters protested at the annual general meeting this week.

Why should anyone ever buy a football club?

This is clearly a question that has been bothering the Financial Times as they started a three part series on the topic in their Business News section today.   Much of the article covers relatively familiar ground, although the summary table of who owns what in the Barclays Premier League is very useful.

Greg Clarke, chairman of the Football League makes an interesting point when he compares owners in the 1980s before the Premier League with those today.  There was just as much competition, ambition and desire for success then as there is now. 

Imps need more investment

Lincoln City have been through some rocky financial times, although in the period during which they reached the play-offs in five successive years they managed to make a cumulative profit of £1m,   At tonight's annual general meeting a loss of £200,000 is expected to be reported.