The Football League (FL) has amended its regulations relating to the insolvency of football clubs which will take effect from the start of the 2015-16 season. The purpose of the changes are to strengthen a number of its key principles whilst maintaining a ‘rescue culture’ which allows a football club to restructure its financial affairs and continue to play in league football.
The amendments to the regulations include:
- Any football club owned by a company entering administration will immediately have 12 points deducted which is an increase on the previous 10 point deduction.
- Once appointed the administrator of an insolvent football club must market the club’s business for sale for at least 21 days and during this marketing period, the administrator must meet the club’s supporters’ trust and allow the trust the opportunity to bid for the club’s business and assets.
- The purchaser of a football club will face a further 15 point deduction at the start of the new season following an insolvency event unless it pays to unsecured creditors either (i) a minimum of 25 pence in the pound on completion of the sale or (ii) 35 pence in the pound within three years of the purchase of the club.
- There is no longer a requirement for an insolvent football club to exit administration through a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA). Therefore the club’s share in the FL can be transferred directly to the purchaser provided that the purchaser has complied with the football creditors rule which requires all debts to the players and other football clubs to be paid in full. The FL anticipates that this change will reduce the insolvency period and the associated professional costs, as well as delivering a greater return to creditors.