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"If you want some accessible but informative insight into football then I suggest you couldn't do better than the Political Economy of Football website, which is not only intelligible but comes with the added bonus of being written by Addicks fan Wyn Grant."
Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme



The worst drop of all

In some ways the drop that clubs fear most is that from League 2 to the Blue Square Premiership.  Half of the clubs in the Conference this season had been Football League clubs at some point in their history. Luton were once in the top flight and Grimsby Town and Stockport County were in the second tier.   There are only two promotion places out of the division, as distinct from four from League 2, and one of those is decided by play offs.

The cost of not getting promoted

Wrexham, who are in the play off places in the Conference, calculate that failure to get promoted will cost them heavily.   This year's losses are forecast at £157,000 which is a great improvement on the £700,000 talked of earlier in the year and shows that the Supporters' Trust have made substantial progress towards balancing the books.

What's in a name?

The winner of a raffle competition to re-name Bath City's Twerton Park ground will be announced at half time in their Easter Bank Holiday match.   167 entries for the competition at £50 a go raised £8,350 for the club who have already been relegated to the Blue Square South.

No fewer of the 22 entries came from Norway with the most unusual one being 'Hot Dog in a Waffle Park'. However, 16 entrants were happy to stay with the current name.

The cost of relegation to League 2

Any relegation is difficult for a club.   It's a blow to morale and a big financial setback as well.  But the costs of relegation from League 2 to the Conference are particularly heavy.   Just look at the clubs who have found it difficult to return to the Football League: among them Grimsby, Lincoln, Luton, Mansfield and York (who have had the longest stay at the lower level).

New winding up petition at Truro City

Truro City have been served a second winding up order in under six months.   Revenue & Customs are taking the White Tigers to court on April 30th for unpaid tax.

Truro now owe £51,000 and Revenue and Customs are in no mood to be lenient after receiving a six figure fee for unpaid taxes two hours after the last hearing in January.

The Cornish club achieved five promotions in six seasons under millionaire owner Kevin Heaney, but have now been excluded from plans for a 'Stadium for Cornwall'.

Unusual kit sponsorship deal

Kettering Town are in a financially precarious position and Betfair have come up with an unusual sponsorship deal to help them out.   They are sponsoring this Saturday's match against Stockport County, but players must take to the field in complete 1970s replica kit, including vintage-style shirts and the 'short shorts' which were typical of the era.

The sponsorship commemorates the fact that the Poppies were the first English side to have a sponsor's name on their shirts.

Club asks fans for help

Histon have asked fans to donate £150 each to keep the club running until the end of the season.   Promised sponsorship failed to materialise and so supporters have been asked to contribute to the near £14,500 monthly wage bill.

Two years ago the Cambridgeshire village side had debts of £75,000 and these have been reduced to less than £25,000.   There is no risk of the club folding.

'Grim situation' at Darlo

Mark Meynell from DFC 1883 has admitted that Darlington is facing an 'emergency'.  He commented, 'It's a grim picture and we're in a very difficult place.'

Benefactor walks away

Benefactors can bring untold riches to clubs.  But they can also suddenly walk away, transforming a club's prospects in the opposite direction.   This can be because their money dries up or because they become disillusioned.   The latter applies to Evo-Stik Southern Premier club AFC Totton, currently second in the division.

Wrexham head for surplus

Wrexham was only taken over by the Supporters Trust in November but now it looks as if they could be heading for a surplus of around £200k at the end of the season rather than a projected deficit of £700k.  A great cup run helped, of course, while average attendances have been 700 above a projected figure of 3,100.

Some caution is necessary as the club is still spending £1.27 for every £1 it brings in.