Top Greek football club AEK Athens is casualty of crisis

The economic crisis has hit Greek football hard. Austerity has reduced the disposable income of fans, often drastically, and businesses have also been in difficulty. AEK Athens has become a major casualty of the Eurozone crisis.

They are preparing to declare bankruptcy and seek relegation to the third division. AEK were relegated from the Super League for the first time in their 89-year history in the season just ended. They are in serious financial difficulties and reported to owe 170 million euros in taxes. Angela Merkel, herself a football fan, will be pleased to hear that.

Aldershot Town FC enter administration

Aldershot Town FC have entered administration following their relegation from League 2. They have debts totalling £1m, of which £300k is owed to football creditors. Player wages for April were not paid.

Club chairman Shahid Azeem had been in talks with owner and majority shareholder Kris Machala over acquiring his stake in the club, but the talks broke down after Machala demanded proof of funds.

Ricoh deny ‘lock out’ claims

Arena Coventry Limited (ACL), the operators of the Ricoh Arena, have denied claims by Coventry City chief executive Tim Fisher that the Sky Blues have been locked out of the stadium.   They insist that the doors remain wide open for the club and argue that, in any case, statements of this kind should be made by the administrator.

Sisu try to restart Sky Blue talks

Coventry City owners Sisu are trying to get talks restarted on their tenancy of the Ricoh Arena.  They have made a direct appeal to the chief executive of the city council, Martin Reeves.   As has been the case for some time, the main sticking point is not the rent, where Arena Coventry Limited have made a substantially reduced offer, but matchday revenues.

Portsmouth saved

Reports are appearing on social media that Pompey Supporters’ Trust  (PST) have agreed a deal in principle to buy Fratton Park from Balram Chainrai  have now been confirmed by the BBC.    It is thought that the out of court settlement involves the payment of £3m plus add ons to Chainrai’s Portpin Group.

A £10m debt to former players will be covered with a £9m parachute payment from the Premier League.  Ordinary creditors such as local businesses will receive 2p in the pound.

Mixed news for Sky Blues

As expected, Coventry City have been deducted 10 points by the Football League, effectively ending their chances of promotion this year. It is believed that Coventry’s ‘golden shares’ in the Football League and Football Association are still with Coventry City Football Club Ltd. which has gone into administration rather than Coventry City Football Club (Holdings). Hence, Arena Coventry Limited (ACL) were able to ask the High Court to dismiss their own application for an administration order.

‘Brutal’ cuts at Pars

Administration is often seen as a reorganisation device and not just in football. It can be seen as a way of re-launching a business in a leaner and fitter shape free of debt. The creditors pay the price, but employees of a company can also suffer.

No blue skies over the Ricoh

There is some blue sky above Leamington this morning, but reports of snow in Nuneaton.  But whatever the actual weather at the Ricoh Arena, the future of Coventry City remains cloudy follow yesterday’s High Court hearing.