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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme



Cobblers staff turn on chairman

Northampton Town staff have taken the highly unusual step of using the club's website to criticise chairman David Cardoza.  He still owns the club and they demanded that he sell it 'within hours'.

The non-playing staff are in their fourth week without pay.   The club's bank accounts were frozen after Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs launched a winding up petition as a result of £166,000 of unpaid taxes. There is also an administration petition from Northampton Borough Council.

The relegation that hurts

Clubs are about a hundred times more likely to go bust if they fall out of the Football League.   Just three Football League clubs have folded since the Second World War: Accrington Stanley (where the gas being turned off was the final blow), Aldershot and the now resurgent Maidstone United.

Parma relegated to Serie D

Parma have been relegated to Serie D after failing to find new owners to wipe out of €22.6m of debt.   The club won the Uefa Cup in 1995 and 1999.   Given that the population of the city is 190,000, this represented a considerable achievement.   However, the club experienced an earlier bankruptcy in 2004 following the Parmalat scandal.

The sad tale of Parma FC

Recently I was one of the examiners for a PhD thesis on cheese.   One of the other examiners was Italian and there was a big debate about the quality of different types of Parmesan cheese.   There are real cheese wars going on between 'New World' and 'Old World' countries and it's a major source of conflict in international trade negotiations, not least over what can be sold as 'Parmesan' cheese.

Blues parent company goes into administration

Birmingham City's troubles have gone on for a long time with it being suggested that the club was effectively being controlled from the majority shareholder's prison cell.   It is therefore not a great surprise to learn that the parent company has gone into administration with the various parties seemingly fighting like cats in a sack.

Hereford United wound up

Hereford United have finally been wound up.   Owner Andy Lonsdale claimed to be on his way to court with proof of the required £1m in funds having been deposited in a bank, but said that he was stuck in traffic.   The judge, clearly exasperated, said that this was not good enough.

Livingston face administration threat

Livingston face a threat of going into administration for a third time.   The club went into administration in 2004 and 2009.

Former chief executive Ged Nixon is bringing an action in the Court of Session in Edinburgh to freeze the club's funds.    He want to sue them for £311,000.   If he was successful, the club might not be able to pay wages due on 25th December.

Bid to revive Salisbury City

Steve Claridge is involved in a bid to get Salisbury City playing football again.   Guiding the consortium is sports writer Ian Ridley for whom Claridge was player-manager at Weymouth.   Their partnership was the subject of a 'fly on the wall' television programme.  

Bulls battle on

Hereford United secured another adjournment of a winding up order at the High Court earlier this week.  It was postponed for six weeks until December 1st with the club promising £1.5m in investment.

Herefordshire Council tried to take possession of Edgar Street on Thursday evening, but were thwarted by the assistant manager who was there.   The next day they started proceedings for possession in the county court.   However, the club paid £50,000 in rent and legal fees on Friday afternoon.

Portsmouth clear all debts

Portsmouth FC have now cleared all their debts following their exit from administration in April 2013.   The legacy debts amounted to £7m. The club is majority owned by the Portsmouth Supporters' Trust with thirteen presidents holding the balance of the shares.

The presidents have contributed £500,000 for ground improvements.   A supermarket is to be built on adjacent land which means that the whole site will have a neater appearance.   A new training ground is scheduled to open later in the year.