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It's time clubs started living within their means
1:02pm Tuesday 8th April 2014 in Sport
FOOTBALL clubs getting themselves into financial difficulties is nothing new.
Hardly a week seems to go by without one facing the threat of administration or a winding-up order.
Hereford United are the latest to find themselves in the mire, while Kidderminster Harriers and Worcester City have experienced it too in recent years.
This is going to sound harsh, but I have little sympathy with them.
While I accept not all are of their own making, the familiar tales of woe are too much of a coincidence for them to be bad luck stories.
It is long overdue that clubs started to live within their means. Any other business running like that would have been wound-up by now.
Football clubs, although often community-focused, should not be special cases and Hereford are a case in point.
Here we have a club that patently cannot support themselves at the level they operate. They, seemingly, have not cut their cloth to suit following relegation from the Football League and are now paying the price.
Already this season they have been served with two winding-up orders for unpaid tax bills and that is just the tip of the iceberg.
Chairman David Keyte last month revealed the club lost around half-a-million pounds up to April 2013 and needed £300,000 to get them through to the end of next month.
That is before next season is considered, with the financial forecast equally as bleak. Players are still owed money, as are a number of creditors.
Yesterday, they were granted an extension to pay their latest HM Revenues and Customs demand of £78,000. Fans and club officials have worked wonders to get the money together, a true show of what can be achieved in times of adversity.
But this is only a short-term fix. They might avoid this winding-up order, but there will likely be more on the way.
Clubs should not continuously go begging to supporters by playing on their emotions. Fans will stump up the cash because they care but, in Hereford's case, are they simply not throwing away their hard-earned in delaying the inevitable?
I'm not suggesting they give up, far from it, but they need to be realistic.
Hereford need a long-term solution of major investment, not stop-gaps.
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