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Failures and rescues in the non-league


The last week in the non-league has seen one likely failure, two rescues, one club on the brink and one set of fans disappointed.   This tally does not include our earlier story on Farnborough with the club avoiding a winding-up order at the last minute.   The recession has hit non-league clubs hard as they are often reliant on the owners of smaller businesses.   Cash is king at this level and cash flow at many clubs was hit by the bad winter weather.

The likely failure is at Merthyr Tydfil which looks set to fail at the end of the season.  The 'Martyrs to the Cause' supporters group had asked fans to stump up £100 each to help bring the club out of administration.   Debts amount to £600,000 and now the supporters' group have conceded that they have not raised enough to offer a Company Voluntary Arrangement to the club's creditors.   However, a bid has been made for control of the club's Penydarren Park home to ensure a ground for a re-formed club.   The objective is to get a lease in the ground so that when the club is liquidated a new club could play there in a different league under a different name.

Rothwell Town have one of the most unusual nicknames in football, the 'Bones'.   It's a reference to the huge collection of human remains in the crypt of the town's church.   Somehow or other the Zamaretto Midlands outfit have run up debts of around £250,000.   However, a mystery consortium has come forward and it looks as if the club are going to make it through to the end of the season.

Weymouth have once again been saved from extinction.   The Blue Square South club, who owed well over £900,000, would have been liquidated on Friday if their creditors had not approved a 9p in the £ offer.   As is required, the Company Voluntary Arrangement was approved by over three-quarters of those owed money.    Weymouth are currently without a manager after Jerry Gill quit when his playing budget was slashed from £2,500 to just £800 a week.    The Weymouth saga is a long and complex one, but essentially it is a story of gambling on excessive ambitions through overspending.   It is likely that the club will now have to re-group next season in the Zamaretto South and West league.

Forest Green Rovers may one again escape relegation from the Blue Square Premiership and for now they have escaped a winding-up order.  However, what they have is a breathing space and they have launched a 'Keep the Green Alive' campaign.    They have struck a deal with the taxman over a £45,000 debt which requires 40 per cent to be paid by April 7th.

Cambridge United fans will not be buying back the Abbey Field stadium for the Blue Square Premier club. Supporters' group Cambridge Fans United were hoping to raise the £3.7m necessary to take advantage of a contractual clause allowing the U's to buy back the ground from owners Bideawhile before contracts selling it go through.  They had pledges of around £1.2m from people wanting to be shareholders in a Community Interest Company, but could not raise the £350,000 non-refundable deposit that was required by last Wednesday.   CFU think that they could have found the money if they had been allowed another couple of days, but the landlords were not prepared to extend the deadline.