You know things are going to get bad when the head of the Football League says even he fears for the future of a number of clubs currently playing their football outside of the Premier League. Lord Mawhinney has come out and said that the full impact of the credit crunch will now begin to impact on the Football League as sides begin their preparations for next season.
Reports circulating the newspapers today have suggested that as many as ten clubs are in danger of going into administration in the near future. The cut off point for sides to go into administration and have ten points taken off this season is 5pm on Thursday. After that the deduction will either wait until next season if a side has been relegated or will be taken off at the end of the season if a club has remained in their current division. However, if that club is less than ten points outside the relegation zone come the end of the season then the loss of ten points will see them go down and spare one lucky side.
So the end of the season could be very interesting for sides in the Championship who are perilously hanging on to survival by their fingertips. For example, Southampton and Watford have had well documented problems with their finances and with the Saints currently in the Championship relegation zone can you imagine the potential heartache if they were to survive only to go into administration. The same goes for Watford who are currently less than ten points away from the trap door.
The March 26th deadline is too early as clubs are still figuring out whether they can continue to function without going into administration. Player contracts, sponsorship deals and even staff contracts are more than likely going to go up for review come the end of the season and clubs won’t know until they have sorted out all those situations how their bank balance will stand.
With the Championship coming to another exciting climax it could be these kind of financial rules that ruin the conclusion. Everyone has been hit hard by the credit crunch and with football likely to be affected next season perhaps the Football League should push back the deadline because survival on the pitch will more than likely mean survival off it and the last thing anyone wants is to see a side disappear for good from the football radar.