4th May 2020 | Articles

Daniel Black writes on ‘What happens when your club goes into administration? The framework for survival and the football creditor rule.’

Some people believe football is a matter of life and death. I am very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that

Clubs in Danger

That Bill Shankly’s celebrated witticism was neverat all as serious as contemporary motivational posters might haveyou believe is something whichispresently being thrown into sharprelief by the Covid19 pandemic. But football, that most important of unimportant things, will at some stage return. Except that is, for thoseclubs which might not. Insolvencyhurdles too stand in the way of your place onthe terraces.

Football insolvencies are different than others. Intheir community impact,yes,but, to some extentat least, legallyas well. They may also be becoming more common.

In its Football Distress Reportpublished just last year, insolvency specialists Begbies Traynor found an 8% increase in English Football League clubs showing serious signs of financial trouble.With many clubs deriving significant amounts of their income from gate receipts(and this is not to mention the manifold otherfinancialproblems arising from lockdown) it does not take a soothsayer to forecast thatthisfigure may go higher still. Pair that to the warning of Fausto Zanetton, CEO of Tifosy Capital &Advisory, leaders inadvisory and capital solutions in the sports industry, that some clubs ‘will really struggle’ on account of the pandemic and sensible footballfans ought to be chilled.

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