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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme



The price of relegation from the Premiership

Today's Times publishes an informative survey of the finances of each club in the Barclays Premier League. Net debt figures at many clubs are high in relation to turnover. But one has to remember that many businesses operate on the basis of a platform of debt. Of course, if insecure debts are divided up, re-packaged and sold on, that is when you get the kind of problems that led to the global financial crisis.

Totton tells a tale

Meteoric rises involving benefactors who then withdraw their support often end in tears and that, sadly, appears to be the story at AFC Totton.   Players' wages have gone unpaid and there was even talk of a strike over Easter.

Search for new Conference sponsor is on

With the completion of the takeover of loss-making Blue Square by Betfair, the search for a new sponsor for the Football Conference is on. Indeed, the Football League does not have a headline sponsor for next season. Undoubtedly a sponsor will be found in both cases: the real question is how much they are prepared to pay.

No expense spared

Since they joined the English non-league system, Guernsey FC have paid for the travel and overnight accommodation of visiting teams. However, Spennymoor Town went one better for their FA Vase semi-final, hiring a private plane and staying two nights on the island. They also prepared for the match at Middlesbrough's training complex.

The estimated cost to them was £24,000. It all paid off because they beat the Green Lions 3-1. Guernsey have not defeated at home this season at their Footes Lane Stadium.

Truro may ground share with Argyle

Truro City, who have been through a very troubled period, may have to share with Plymouth Argyle next season. It is stated that the ground share would only be 'temporary', although this turns out to mean three years. It would face fans with a 107-mile round trip and take the club that aspires to be Cornwall's leading football team out of the county and across the River Tamar into Devon.

Fans bail out Quakers

Northern League leaders Darlington have been bailed out by their fans to the tune of £50,000. The money has come from fans' groups who invested in Darlington FC Community Interest Company who run the phoenix club. The company has 800 members and a 52 per cent controlling interest in the club.

Apparently, the cash was needed to cover a shortfall covered by a drop in income, an overspend on playing costs and what were described as 'crucial budgeting errors.'

Gloucester City AFC get eviction warning

Gloucester City AFC have been told by Cheltenham Town to pay £20,000 they owe in rent and other expenses or they will be evicted from their ground share at Whaddon Road by the end of the month.

The club are thought to owe three months' rent.   They have had difficulty in attracting more than a few hundred to midweek games.   As the most southerly football club in the Blue Square North they also face long away trips such as the 500-mile round trip to Workington in Cumbria last Saturday.

The benefits and costs of a cup run

Luton Town have made £600,000 from their FA Cup run, including a £233,200 broadcast fee from ESPN for their home against Millwall.   However, it simply eats into projected losses of £2m this season as they try to return to the Football League.

They have spent big on their squad.   Indeed, the consortium in charge at Kenilworth Road has already ploughed £10m into the club.   But at the moment they are 8th in the Blue Square Premiership, although they have games in hand on the clubs above them.

Worcester agree to ground share

After protracted negotiations, Worcester City have agreed an initially one year ground share deal with Kidderminster Harriers.   It is believed that City will pay a four figure fee per game.    Their historic ground at St.George's Lane is due to be demolished at the end of the season.

Fans frustrated by the delay in building a new ground at Nunnery Way have put in place plans to construct a scaled-down stadium at Perdiswell.

Big projected loss at fan run club

Fan-run Chester FC look set to lose £75,000 this season.   The BSB North leaders made a profit of £107,826 in their first season after they were formed following the winding up of one time Football League club Chester City.   Last season they made a small loss of £2,970.