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  1. Look back at the 1980s. The worrying thing is that its generally been the teams with the lowest crowds that have been relegated from the SPFL. And as a members' club we can't just create lots of new shares to entice in someone who fancies running a football club. The positive thing for me is that this squad is playing far better football than Hamill's did last year. I cannot see them shipping eight as we did to East Fife last year. Defeats have been narrow, and sometimes in games where we were the better team. But we do need to win more games, starting with the next couple of home games. And we need to stop shooting ourselves in the foot e.g. with post-match red cards.
  2. Good spot. I have amended my original post to refer to "technical insolvency" rather than "solvency". (For the uninitiated, insolvency is when a company can't meet its debts and either goes into administration or is liquidated. Technical insolvency is when the shareholder funds go negative, but the directors may decide that they can continue to trade their way out of the problem without the company going insolvent.) But even with this correction I don't think Peterhead's accounts look good. The club's cash balances have fallen from £86k to £13k. I think it starts to become uncomfortable for a business if they have less than three months cash on hand. And creditors (potentially) due within 12 months have risen from £587k to £766k. I think these are flashing red signs. But I'm not trying to get at individual clubs. The general point I'm trying to make is that running a team in SPFL 1/2 is unaffordable for most clubs with the cost base imposed on them by SPFL rules/government regulation and the income they get from gates and SPFL prize money. The problems would go away if the SPFL directed enough of its sponsorship income to supporting teams' basic costs rather than distributing it as prize money, prize money which is hugely skewed towards the top league and the top two. I think the challenges are particularly hard for member-owned clubs, whether there are a members' club or a company. It's much harder for them to go through cycles of clubs in financial pressure selling a stake/majority stake to a new owner who is willing to put money in. I wouldn't be surprised if over the next few years we see some clubs starting to offer some players amateur terms.
  3. I’m increasingly wondering whether the “next to go” will be decided by liquidation/administration, rather than on the playing field. We are now in the reporting season for many clubs. Recently published accounts from East Fife and Peterhead make very interesting reading. In both cases auditors have raised concerns about “material uncertainty related to growing concern.” Peterhead lost £297k in the financial year to 31 May 2023. Net liabilities are £329k, meaning that the company is technically insolvent. Net current liabilities – sums that the club might have to find in the next 12 months – are £674k. And in the company’s lifetime it has total losses of £1650k i.e. the amount it has been subsidised by shareholders injecting capital. And there’s an individual note in the accounts that the club owes £275k to a former director, with no agreement in place on possible repayment, and a statement that “it is acknowledged that any request for repayment in demand would create significant cash flow difficulties for the football club and… Suitable repayment terms would have to be agreed… or fresh funding sought.” East Fife only lost £53k in the same financial year, a big improvement on the £189k loss in 2022. In contrast to Peterhead the club isn’t technically insolvent, but that is only because of the value of its land/property. It owes about £270k, with some of that on the basis of a guarantee that it won’t be called in the next 18 months. This is another company that has burned through shareholders’ investments, with total losses of around £500k over the years. In the 2022 financial year the average loss for the 17 SPFL 1/2 clubs whose accounts are available from Companies House was £113k. It rises to £155k if you include the two relegated clubs and the new arrivals from the Lowland League. More updates as more accounts become available.
  4. Lot of money pumped in when the professional club was separated from the community club three years ago.
  5. Not just a west thing… Cove, Kelty and Spartans.
  6. I don’t see anything in the membership criteria letter saying this. It does give exist SPFL clubs 'a period of grace until 1 July 2024 to achieve a Scottish FA Bronze Club licence.' For potential candidates for promotion it requires an application by 31 March with no guarantee that this will be successful - 'each such application is considered on its own merits and no assurance is given that any waiver, relaxation, period of grace and/or approval will be granted by the SPFL Board in the event that such an application is received.'
  7. From the letter sent to all SPFL , SHFL SLFL clubs last October: Since the Membership Criteria compliance date is 31 March prior to any Season this requires all clubs in the SHFL and SLFL, which consider that they have any prospect of being the champion club of the relevant league, to ensure compliance with the SPFL Membership Criteria and/or the making of any required applications for approval/waiver/period(s) of grace not later than 31 March 2024, i.e. some weeks in advance of knowing which club will be the champion club of each of those leagues.
  8. What’s the position re licensing at East Kilbride? According to the list on the SFA website Cumbernauld Colts are the only Lowland League side currently able to step up.
  9. Suspect if the boot had been on the other foot you would have been shouting for a red card.
  10. If someone took a golf club to someone else that’s inexcusable and he will deserve whatever he gets. Reportedly started with a visiting fan throwing punches at the start of the game. Objects thrown on the park at the end as well as after the first goal celebration.
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