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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme



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.

Hereford United on the brink

Hereford United are on the brink of administration after they were served a £36,500 winding up order by HM Revenue and Customs.  Hereford's MP has asked for a degree of forbearance, but football clubs can't be exempted from meeting their tax obligations.

Football 100 years ago: Thursday football under way

This is the first of an occasional series of articles in which we look at what was happening in football one hundred years ago in the run up to the outbreak of the Great War.

In the early months of 1914, most people fortunately had no idea of what lay ahead later in the year. Their focus was rather more on how they could make the best use of their valuable spare time. The retail sector was a large employer in a town like Leamington, a medium-sized town in Warwickshire in the heart of England.

Another Conference North club in trouble

Following the resignation of Vauxhall Motors from the Skrill North, Histon are the latest club to encounter difficulties.  The club's board of directors has announced that they are to resign at the end of the month. Five of the six largest shareholders have agreed to relinquish their shares, which are essentially worthless, to make way for new investors.

However, Angelo Dama who holds 31 per cent of the shares is holding out.   He told BBC Radio Cambridgeshire that he felt that the club had been struggling for two years and should have asked for help before now.

The disappearance of the works side

There was a time when works teams were a familiar feature of non-league football. Westland Yeovil, Lovells Athletic, Betteshanger Colliery, where are you now? (In the latter two cases, the business folded).

In continental Europe it was not unusual for major clubs to be associated with a company, e.g., PSV Eindhoven. In Communist states, such an association was common with the armed forces and even the secret police having teams.

Non-league clubs in trouble

A number of non-league clubs are currently facing financial difficulties. This winter's wet weather has led to postponed matches and hit cash flow. When matches are rearranged for midweek, takings from the gate, bar and burger stand are often depleted.

As anticipated, Eastwood Town have folded and, elsewhere, Bashley FC are facing financial challenges. Corby Town face the threat of administration. As in the case of Eastwood, they are in dispute with the local council. Such disputes are more likely with government funding to local authorities continuing to be cut.

Dulwich Hamlet rescued

Founded in 1893, London club Dulwich Hamlet were at one time a leading amateur club. They are still in the Isthmian League but the club has had financial difficulties and Hadley Property Group were officially unveiled on Saturday as the new owners of Champion Hill Stadium and Dulwich Hamlet FC Ltd.

Cash flow problems as 'tiny' club push for league status

Alfreton Town are currently third in the Football Conference and therefore have a chance of promotion to the Football League. The Derbyshire town has a population, counting surrounding villages, of around 25,000 and the attendance at Saturday's game was just over 800. Table topping Luton Town can easily attract 6,000 or 7,000.

Maidstone hot up 3G War

The Football Conference could face a big legal bill as Maidstone United step up their battle to be allowed to play on a 3G pitch next year. They are currently top of the Ryman Premier, with financially challenged Dulwich Hamlet on the same number of points.

There is something of a chicken game in the threats of legal action as Maidstone would prefer to settle out of court. Conference chairman Brian Lee has used the pejorative term 'blackmail'. Anyone is entitled to take legal action if they think they have a case, although I am not convinced that the Maidstone case is that strong.

Quakers going home

Plans to bring football back to Darlington are pressing ahead, according to officials at the club. A planning application is expected to go into the council in a few weeks for permission to make some changes at the Blackwell Meadows site owned by Darlington Rugby Football Club.