Accrington Stanley (www.accringtonstanley.co.uk) needs your Help!
Accrington Stanley F.C. Livingstone Road,Accrington,BB5 5BX. email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Save Our Stanley - Statements
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Save Our Stanley - press release : 03/09/2009
Accrington Stanley have announced the beginning of a new SOS fundraising initiative ‘Save Our Stanley’designed to secure the future of club and inspire other small professional football clubs to raise money off the pitch and avoid administration. The future of Accrington Stanley Football Club has been threatened after an order to immediately repay the outstanding tax debt of £300,000 to HMRC had originally agreed to pay off the large sum of money in gradual instalments throughout the upcoming 12 months. However, recent circumstances have pressured Accrington Stanley to diminish the outstanding tax bill to HM Revenue and Customs in the next four weeks.
Club owner David O’Neill commented “It has always been the club’s philosophy to repay the debt as a matter of priority with this year’s budget taking the full repayment into account. The club now feels it would be more appropriate to clear all remaining debt and allowing the club’s new regime to focus towards future stability. However, we are going to need a lot of help and support in reaching the target. Accrington Stanley is the world’s most famous small football club and holds affection in all football fans’ hearts, and we want to encourage other clubs to support, then capitalise on, our ideas.”
‘Save Our Stanley’ is a national fund raising initiative set up by the famous Accrington side to appeal to all those who share affection for the club in these troubled times. Football has always had a rich and colourful history in the town, with Accrington FC founder members of the Football League in 1888. The club, also famous from the iconic milk television advert in the 1980’s, is now led by the football league’s longest serving manager John Coleman who has brought the club from Northern Premier League First Division back into Coca Cola League 2 in his 10 year reign. Despite finishing every season progressively higher than the previous under Coleman, the club is still in serious financial difficulty.
This is an extreme example of the smaller teams in lower leagues struggling to survive in the current financial climate. The side, already known for controlling the smallest player wage budget in the league is combating the uncertain future over the next 28 days the club by hosting a range of fund raising activities. Your support is vital to the future of the club and any donation would be welcome and valued. To Save Stanley visit www.saveourstanley.co.uk to donate and get involved, or donate by phone or text .........
Club statement - Robert Heys 02/09/2009
Accrington Stanley and HM Revenue and Customs
This morning Chairman David O'Neill, Vice Chairman Peter Marsden and myself travelled down to the High Court in London to seek a further adjournment of the winding up order brought by HM Revenue and Customs.
Just over twelve weeks ago HMRC agreed not to oppose an initial request for an adjournment after the football club submitted details proposals to repay the petition debt of £300,000 over a twelve month period. However in recent weeks it became clear that HMRC were going to seek a much shorter period of repayment ahead of the second hearing scheduled for today, and although negotiations continued until late last night it was not possible to avoid having to travel down to the court this morning.
Knowing that there was a good chance that HMRC were not going to accept an application for an adjournment the club and our legal team had put together what we were confident was a strong case that would convince the judge to allow us a little more time in order to reorganise our plans to be able to work towards paying the debt in full within a much tighter time period. Although we initially set out to aim for an additional four weeks to show that we could set about raising funds to significantly reduce the debt, we have in fact been granted an eight week adjournment.
With our original twelve month plan we had sought to repay the money owed from the club’s annual turnover, by significantly reducing costs in some areas and increasing revenue streams in others. Because of this it would not have been necessary to go out and fundraise specifically for this cause.
Now with our much shorter deadline the club is appealing for help from all interested parties who share our desire to keep the club moving forward. Over the next few days and weeks we will be announcing a number of initiatives to bring in funds to be specifically used to clear this debt, some of which will bring in relatively small amounts, some hundreds of pounds, some thousands of pounds and some tens of thousands of pounds.
We are aware that there is some disappointment amongst supporters that this court appearance was not made public sooner, particularly as going forward we have stated that we are very keen to be as open and transparent as is possible. The decision not to make the news public was made for two reasons, both with the specific intention of keeping control of the situation at a very difficult time. Firstly the news that the club was to make an appearance in the High Court to defend a winding up order would have had a massive effect on the day to day trading of the football club, and secondly the local, national and indeed international media attention that such a story would have attracted would have had a significant impact on our ability to concentrate on our negotiations with HMRC and on working on our defence with our legal team.
The club was in receipt of an offer of support from the Accrington Stanley Supporters Fund, backed by Ilyas Khan, offering to repay the entire debt but only on the condition of a new share issue that would see the fund take a 50% stake in the club, and subject to the usual due diligence procedures. The club have not dismissed this offer out of hand, indeed it may still transpire as an option for Accrington Stanley in the future. However the current owner David O’Neill has now been in control of the club for the last five or six weeks, and already I am sure that anyone who has had any dealings with the Accrington Stanley in this time will have noticed a change to the way that the club is run and managed. David put a significant sum into the club last summer to in effect keep the club running, and has done so again this summer. I would suggest that it is only fair that David, along with the other major stakeholders and the current management team at the club is allowed to continue to the good work that has been done so far, and to build on this as we look to the future.
We now openly appeal to all who support the club, all who name us as their second team, all who simply look for our result or indeed anyone who simply has a genuine interest in football and would like to see one of the sport’s most famous names continue to progress, to get behind Accrington Stanley and help us to resolve this issue once and for all.
Far from being a story of doom and gloom, I firmly believe that the shorter deadline that we are now working towards will ultimately prove beneficial to the club. Rather than hanging over us for the entire twelve months, a successful fundraising campaign will satisfy the revenue in a much shorter period and enable us to use the £18,000 that we set aside in our budgets to meet the regular monthly payment, together with several larger lump sum payments, to instead continue to strengthen our squad and to develop our ground.