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Getting back to the Football League

It's not easy to get back to the Football League once you've been relegated to the Conference.  Of the fourteen teams relegated from League Two since 2004, only three have returned (although Luton Town could still add to their number this year).   Carlisle were the only team to bounce back straight away and it took Oxford United, a well-resourced and supported club, four seasons.   Two teams (Boston United and re-formed Chester) now play at a lower level.

Crisis at Rushden deepens

The financial crisis at former benefactor club Rushden and Diamonds FC has deepened.   A major creditor has issued a winding-up petition following the imposition of a five point penalty by the Conference.  Diamonds were given their punishment after being found guilty of misconduct over their returns as part of the league's Financial Reporting Initiative.

Stags to splash the cash

Mansfield Town are to splash the cash next season in a bid to return to the Football League from which they were relegated in 2008.   Chairman John Radford has said that he will throw around £2m at the club.   Three of the four men he bought the club from for £1 have returned to the board, each putting in a five figure sum.

Wrexham hit by winding up order

Wrexham FC have been hit by a winding up order over an unpaid tax bill.   Revenue and Customs issued the winding up order on Friday over a debt of £200,000.  Wrexham are currently in the play off places in the Blue Square Premiership and therefore have a chance of returning to the Football League next season.

Posh bail out Diamonds

Peterborough have come to the aid of cash strapped Rushden and Diamonds.  They have handed over the £60,000 balance on the signing of Lee Tomlin last summer rather than paying it in £10,000 instalments.   They have also bought goalkeeper Joe Day for a reported £50,000, even though he will not be able to play this season.

More clubs delay pay

Conference outfit Kettering Town FC are the latest football club to pay players late.  They were due payment last Tuesday but got 50 per cent then and the remaining 50 per cent on Friday.  The club is owed a substantial amount of money by a sponsor.

FC United find new stadium site

FC United Manchester have found a new location for their planned 5,000-capacity stadium.   A deal to build on Ten Acres Lane, Newton Heath was torpedoed by local government funding cutbacks.  However, with the approval of Manchester City Council's executive committee, the club have selected the Ronald Johnson playing fields in nearby Moston as their new home.   The Red Rebels currently play at the Giggs Lane home of League Two club Bury.

Not getting your wages paid

Three clubs are currently having problems paying wages.  The situation is particularly desperate at Plymouth Argyle where no one has been paid in 2011.   Staff and players have had to sign 'deeds of deferral', forcing them either to agree to wait for pay or quit the club.

Redditch taken over

Blue Square North club Redditch United have been acquired by local businessman Chris Swan in a takeover that wipes out their debt.   The property developer had agreed to take over Kidderminster Harriers last month but pulled out because he was unsure of the true extent of their debts.


Unfortunately, it doesn't look as if Redditch can avoid relegation.  To add to their woes, the Conference gave them a five point deduction last Friday for submitting misleading information as part of the league's Financial Reporting Initiative.

Non-league attendances take hit

I was talking to the chairman of a non-league club the other day and he reckoned that attendances were down by about 20 per cent this season even where clubs were doing well on the pitch.   He thought that even the time of the month when people got paid had an effect on attendance, so squeezed were family budgets.