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Stockport County FC In Trouble


League 1 side Stockport County have hit financial problems. Considerable efforts are being made to prevent the club going into administration. Stockport MP Ann Coffey managed to negotiate a stay of execution over its massive bill owing to the Inland Revenue (no suprise to learn that they, and hence the taxpayer, are the main creditors). The stay of execution is only for a fortnight and Ann Coffey commented, 'In the meantime Stockport County has to come up with a payment plan that is acceptable to the Revenue.' Stockport County have insisted that they are not going into administration as they have some secured some short-term funding. They have also appointed Sean Connolly to act as chief executive. He was the secretary of the Football Association of Ireland during the 'Jack Charlton' period and is credited with moving the association from a cash-strapped organisation to a multi-million business within a few years. More recently, he has been working at a senior level in the Irish Department of Finance.

Longer-term hopes rest with a consortium headed by Lord Peter Snape. He has been in Stockport for discussions, but one of his conditions is that the Stockport Supporters' Trust should step aside. At one point County reached the Championship and built a new stand which is at one end, reflecting the cramped configuration of the site. In many respects their problems are typical of clubs on the fringe of Manchester where there is the choice of watching either City or United.