|Posted on March 12, 2012 at 7:00 PM|
It's been a while since my last blog, so I thought it was about time I wrote another. Although I haven't commented on the financial plight of clubs recently, the situation has not gone away.
By far the highest profile club to suffer the dreaded ten point deduction recently is Rangers. Whatever side of the political divide you are on, this is very bad news for the city of Glasgow and Scottish football as a whole. The title race north of the border is a two-horse race most of the time, with the other ten clubs just there to provide target practice and the occasional shock result. The pay cuts and likely fire-sale of players could reduce the club to a shadow of its former self for some years.
Yet again, Portsmouth are in desperate trouble, with the administrator worried they won't see out the season. I doubt Rangers will suffer quite the same fate. They are a big enough club to be attractive to potential buyers. Despite their deduction, Rangers remain in second spot, with Champions' League football not out of the question if they can get out of administration quickly. Pompey, on the other hand, are rock bottom of the Championship table. There is little chance of them avoiding relegation for a second time in three years. The situation at Fratton Park looks very gloomy with a lot of talk on Pompey forums of a fans club to replace it.
Although a different situation, Northwich Victoria have been kicked out of their near brand new stadium by the site's new owners. Rumour has it that they are to groundshare with Skelmersdale next season. There are some doubts as to whether the ground would meet grading requirements for promotion to the Blue Square North. Victoria Park would have easily met those requirements. Where all this will leave Northwich Villa is anyone's guess right now.
Other local clubs to have found themselves in financial difficulty include Chorley. Just like Northwich Victoria, they currently occupy a play-off spot in the Evo-Stik Premier. The club shares some similarities with our very own Atherton Collieries. Not only do they share our barcode shirts, but they are a club frequented by supporters of the same Premier League club, Bolton Wanderers. Here's hoping they can get themselves back on track soon.
There is something wrong in our game when players at the top are earning enough in a week to keep whole clubs going for years. Despite the fact that there is more money in football now than could be dreamt of twenty years ago, even less of it seems to be working its way down the divisions than ever before. Maybe it is just that we get to hear about small clubs in trouble more than we used to, but I daresay that the situation is actually the worst it has ever been. It is also affecting some of the biggest clubs now, so perhaps something will be done before football eats itself.
It is St. Patrick's Day, so perhaps the luck of the Irish will rub off for a troubled club. The turn of phrase may not go down well in the blue half of Glasgow, but the money certainly would.
In true Irish fashion, I would like to extend a "Céad Míle Fáilte" (hundred thousand welcomes) to our opponents from Irlam on this St. Patrick's Day.
Dubh agus bán go deo! (Black and white forever!)