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League 2

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£115m bill for agents

Premier League clubs spent £115m on agents in the last two transfer windows.   Four top clubs spent more than the combined wage bill of all League 2 clubs for a whole season.

Bury involved in high interest loan

Journalist David Conn is a past master at ferreting out worrying financial developments and in football and has written an interesting in depth article about developments at Bury FC.

Bury have always struggled in the shadow of the two big Manchester clubs and their last set of accounts showed a £724,688 loss on income of £2.7m.    Property developer Stewart Day had to step in to settle their latest financial crisis.

Football League dilutes financial fair play regulations

The Football League has substantially diluted its financial fair play regulations.  According to some estimates, clubs will now be able to make losses of £15m-£17m a year, compared with a previously agreed figure of £5m, plus £3m in the form of equity.

Portsmouth clear all debts

Portsmouth FC have now cleared all their debts following their exit from administration in April 2013.   The legacy debts amounted to £7m. The club is majority owned by the Portsmouth Supporters' Trust with thirteen presidents holding the balance of the shares.

The presidents have contributed £500,000 for ground improvements.   A supermarket is to be built on adjacent land which means that the whole site will have a neater appearance.   A new training ground is scheduled to open later in the year.

Rovers challenge relegation

Bristol Rovers claim that Wycombe Wanderers have breached Football Association rules on third party ownership, thereby gaining an unfair competitive advantage and are consulting sports lawyers.

It is difficult to see this particular complaint going very far, but one can expect more legal challenges to promotion and relegation as sports lawyers hone their skills.

Football League attendances up

Attendances in the Sky Bet Football League rose by 136,000 or one per cent in the season just ended. However, this global figure conceals differences between the leagues.   Attendances in the Championship were down by five per cent and up by 18.4 per cent in League One.   League Two attendances increased by just under one per cent.

Torquay faces financial problems

Even leaving aside the likelihood of relegation to the Conference, Torquay United have been facing a difficult financial situation as they seek to attract new investment.

The state of Northants football

Football in Northamptonshire is in a bad way.  Northampton Town, who enjoyed a brief spell in the top flight, are threatened with relegation to the Conference.   Rushden and Diamonds, the product of one man's vision, are no more (apart from a phoenix club) having reached League 1.   Their Nene Park stadium lies quietly rusting, perhaps to be eventually replaced by housing.

Portsmouth can cope with relegation

Portsmouth are confident that they will not be relegated from League 2 to the Conference, but should the worst happen they think they could cope financially.

Their attendances are currently higher than those they were recording when they were in the Championship and, if they were relegated, they would have the highest crowds ever seen in the Football Conference, beating those currently achieved by Luton Town.

Uncertainty about Chairboys sale

The identity of the prospective new owners of Wycombe Wanderers was not identified at a meeting of supporters yesterday as had been hoped. The club is currently third from bottom in League 2, although five points ahead of Torquay in the first of the relegation places.