Historic English soccer club Rochdale is currently in the midst of a serious financial situation with liquidation threatening. Simon Gauge, the chairman of Rochdale, recently revealed that the team has to raise significant funds in the coming weeks to avoid falling into administration. Gauge admitted that the club needs about $2.5 million by the end of March to avoid the dire situation.

The businessman previously became involved in the club back in the summer of 2021. Rochdale was featuring in League Two at the time but has since been relegated to the National League. Gauge has pumped over $700,000 directly into the team in recent months. However, he now claims that he has reached his credit limit.

As a result, the fan-owned club needs help from outside investment. Assuming someone will offer the $2.5 million, they would then gain 90% control of the Manchester area team.

Club back to winning ways following perilous news

Since the aforementioned announcement by club officials, Rochdale played a league match against Wealdstone. Nearly 2,000 fans were at Spotland Stadium on the cold and rainy night to cheer on their club. With the support, Rochdale went on to win the game 3-0. It was the team’s first victory in over seven weeks.

Following the match, John Leach, a Rochdale fan of 61 years, explained to The Guardian how much the club means to him. “We were in the [Football] League for 102 years and now we’re out and really, really down – it is bleak,” stated John Leach. “I first came with my father and grandfather, who were essentially functional mutes of the northern type of the day, very little to say until we came to the football.”

“I have very fond memories of cementing a bond with my father and grandfather down the years. We used to travel to away games a lot. I have all of that and if the club goes, it is just going to be another memory wiped from my life.”

Americans interested in purchasing a stake in the club

Most supporters of fan-owned clubs grimace at the thought of outside investment. Rochdale fans, however, just hope that the club is saved. With money currently running out, the team will need to attract outside interest by the end of March. If not, Rochdale could potentially face a points deduction if they are forced into administration.

Rochdale currently sits safely in 11th place in the National League table. Nevertheless, a potential 10-point penalty would put the club directly in the relegation zone.

Despite the precarious financial position, Rochdale is a fairly attractive lower-level English club. A major factor in this is that the team currently owns its stadium and has small levels of debt.

According to the aforementioned news outlet, a majority of outside interest in the club is coming from investors from the United States. Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney’s highly-publicized purchase of Wrexham has boosted American ownership in European soccer teams. A recent report claims that Americans are now involved in 37% of all English professional clubs.

While Rochdale fans may not have the same experience as Wrexham, outside investors could very well save the club. A shareholder meeting at the English club is set for March 7th, where those involved will discuss the future of the team.