Tuesday, June 1, 2010

"Crystal Palace saved from extinction" was the dramatic headline on the BBC website today. The last minute deal to secure Palace's future was a close run thing.

With so many clubs being in crisis this season, both north and south of the border, you do become a little bit blase when reading about the latest court proceedings involving football teams. They pretty much always seem to strike a last minute deal, although clubs like Chester City show the full impact of what can happen when that deal can't be reached and they finally reach the end of the road.

The plight of Crystal Palace should be a wake up call to many but you know it won't be. For such a big name, with a big history, to be in a state where they are just moments away from ceasing to exist, it's frightening and it's only going to get worse. Once one of the bigger teams goes, and it WILL happen one day soon, then there could be a domino effect as banks and creditors begin to panic and (rightfully) call in their debts.

How do clubs let themselves get into this state? How can Boards allows so much money to be owed to so many, especially with regards to HM Revenue and Customs? That's not exactly expenditure that you don't know about and can't budget for.

Palace, and other clubs like Cardiff, have now reached a new slippery slope of selling future season tickets in advance, with the money then disappearing far to early into the Club's finances and expenses and no foreseeable sign of future income on the horizon.

Banks, and in particular Lloyds Banking Group, are getting tired of waiting for their money and as heartless as they will look, they are all in enough shit themselves without allowing badly run business from dragging them down.

Maybe it will take a big name club to go bust to make people get a grip. The Premiership promised land is making too many clubs take a gamble to reach it. Cardiff failed this year and it will be interesting to see if their new owners can steady that particular ship.

In the meantime, all we can do is speculate which will be the next club to go into administration. I'm betting it's going to be within the first two months of the new season then as one topples, watch the rest sadly fall.

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