Northwich Victoria owner Jim Rushe says he will not resign following club's enforced relegation

Northwich Guardian: Vics owner vows to fight on Vics owner vows to fight on

A DAY after Northwich Victoria was relegated to the lowest level its team has ever played at, owner Jim Rushe says he will not resign.

He told the Guardian that it is wrong to blame him for the club’s third demotion in as many years, only one of which was because the players on the pitch were not good enough.

“I don’t feel that what has happened is my fault,” he said.

“But as the owner of the club, I have to accept some responsibility as I’m the one in the driving seat.

“However I’m determined to fight on and won’t be relinquishing control.

“ I think I have enough support [to carry on].”

Yesterday, Tuesday, an Football Association (FA) appeal board agreed with the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League’s decision earlier this month to punish the club for breaking finance rules.

However it decided that expulsion from the competition was too harsh a sanction, instead ordering that Vics play in its second tier from next season.

The team, which finished as runners-up to Chester in the Premier Division, will not compete in this week’s promotion play-offs either.

“I’m angry,” said Mr Rushe.

“The verdict looks bad on me, and the club. It just feels like every time certain people get a chance to kick us, then they do.

“It’s a decision of huge magnitude for everybody associated with Northwich Victoria – me, the players and the supporters.

“I think it’s the thing that has devastated me most since I came to the club [in 2007] because we should be preparing for a play-offs semi final.”

Vics were charged before Easter for two offences; first, for not complying with a legal accord made with firms to which the club owes money – a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) – and second, for not telling the league that it hadn’t.

Mr Rushe was summoned to a hearing to offer his explanation, but it was not enough to convince members of a league disciplinary panel not to take drastic action.

He denied he was guilty of both, and still does.

“I want to prove to the doubters that the promises I made were not empty ones,” he added.

“I haven’t told lies, and the truth will come out.”

He did not say when, or how.

Mr Rushe does admit that the firm that pays the players’ wages, Northwich Victoria Football Club (2007) Ltd, has failed to do what was expected – that is payment of a £10,000 sum to transfer membership from the club’s previous incarnation, Northwich Victoria Football Club (2004) Ltd, to the new one – when it joined the league in the summer of 2010.

However he told representatives from the game’s governing body at Wembley yesterday that he did not know that an insolvency expert, hired by him, asked a judge at Manchester High Court in February to rip up the club’s CVA.

“We were left with no alternative,” said Gary Pettit, from business recovery specialists Marshman Price, last month.

“It is with deep frustration and regret that we have had to take such a course of action, but the directors of the club have always been aware that this would happen if they did not comply.”

In papers sent to Companies House, he said that Vics’ owner had reneged on an accord to find £2,500 each month for its long list of creditors.

Mr Pettit blamed ‘protracted negotiations’ for taking action more than two years after writing off close to two thirds of every unpaid bill in return for receiving the remainder owed in instalments over the next five years.

“[Mr Rushe] sought to claim payments were not due and pleaded ignorance as to his obligations,” he wrote.

However Mr Rushe was listed as the club’s second largest creditor, behind the tax man, when the CVA was agreed in December 2009.

Vics entered administration seven months earlier.

“It remains the case that I have never seen a penny of the money paid out by the FA following our cup run in 2009, it was given to the club’s administrator,” said Mr Rushe today, Wednesday.

“As far as I was concerned, that sum was to be used to pay off part of the CVA.

“If I had been paid the cash owed to me, which I spent keeping alive the club after it entered administration, then I would have paid the monthly instalments myself.

“But that hasn’t happened.”

Tomorrrow, Thursday, marks the third anniversary of Northwich beating Oxford United in front of a crowd totalling more than 10,000 fans in the club’s last game in non-league’s top tier.

It will play in a division four levels lower later this year.

Relegations off the field, first from the Football Conference in 2010 and now from the Northern Premier League’s top tier, persuaded fans to call for change in a protest at the weekend.

Mr Rushe indicated that none is likely to happen soon.

He said: “I heard the chants, but I’m still unsure as to in what way they want things to be different.

“Do they want me to resign tomorrow? What then?

“Do those same people think that I would spend the money I have fighting the appeal if I didn’t care? If that was true, then I could have walked away last week with pockets less light than they are now.

“It’s not about the money though; I want to continue because I have faith in a model of building up the club from the bottom.

“That may now take longer – it will be at least two years before we can end a season at the top of the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League – but I believe we can achieve that.”

Comments (13)

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8:18pm Wed 25 Apr 12

UsernameAlreadyInUse says...

I think the majority want you to pull the plug on the club and put it out of its misery so they can start from scratch in Northwich (you know, in Cheshire - as opposed to Staffordshire) without being hobbled by debt.

Mr Rushe, I don't know if you're a liar, or a deluded idiot - but you're one or the other, and you can practically count the number of people that can't see through you on 1 hand.

Stop throwing any more money at the lost cause that is NVFC, give up on football, and slink away quietly. Regardless of what you say, you didn't pay your debts, but were prepared to pay players top whack, and to pay lawyers to try to dig you out of your mess. Totally immoral.
I think the majority want you to pull the plug on the club and put it out of its misery so they can start from scratch in Northwich (you know, in Cheshire - as opposed to Staffordshire) without being hobbled by debt. Mr Rushe, I don't know if you're a liar, or a deluded idiot - but you're one or the other, and you can practically count the number of people that can't see through you on 1 hand. Stop throwing any more money at the lost cause that is NVFC, give up on football, and slink away quietly. Regardless of what you say, you didn't pay your debts, but were prepared to pay players top whack, and to pay lawyers to try to dig you out of your mess. Totally immoral. UsernameAlreadyInUse
  • Score: 0

8:23pm Wed 25 Apr 12

Genuine fan says...

Blind incompetant fool!
Blind incompetant fool! Genuine fan
  • Score: 0

9:32pm Wed 25 Apr 12

Vixen123 says...

Quote: It’s not about the money though; I want to continue because I have faith in a model of building up the club from the bottom.

Ah that's why we have been relegated so many times, we need to get to the bottom to start rebuilding!!
Quote: It’s not about the money though; I want to continue because I have faith in a model of building up the club from the bottom. Ah that's why we have been relegated so many times, we need to get to the bottom to start rebuilding!! Vixen123
  • Score: 0

11:12pm Wed 25 Apr 12

onered says...

Why have the HMRC PAYE & NIC - £446,108.35, CWAC Council £13,458-75 and Cheshire Police £1332-89 not pursued these Debts? Perhaps our Local M.Ps. and Councillors will ask these questions on our behalf?

The Police have refused to Police several Football League games recently until outstanding fees have been cleared, perhaps Northwich Victoria will have to play behind closed doors next Season until Policing Debts have been paid in full?

This Guy must have no morals, his appearances in Public begs believe.
Why have the HMRC PAYE & NIC - £446,108.35, CWAC Council £13,458-75 and Cheshire Police £1332-89 not pursued these Debts? Perhaps our Local M.Ps. and Councillors will ask these questions on our behalf? The Police have refused to Police several Football League games recently until outstanding fees have been cleared, perhaps Northwich Victoria will have to play behind closed doors next Season until Policing Debts have been paid in full? This Guy must have no morals, his appearances in Public begs believe. onered
  • Score: 0

1:39pm Thu 26 Apr 12

DaveDavenham says...

this really is last chance saloon time, no ground, no debts being paid and the usual "I didn't know" comments from JR. Is it me or does anyone else find it ironic that Jim is pictured with his red card, with his eyes shut? Maybe that's how he's been running things for the last 3 years.....
this really is last chance saloon time, no ground, no debts being paid and the usual "I didn't know" comments from JR. Is it me or does anyone else find it ironic that Jim is pictured with his red card, with his eyes shut? Maybe that's how he's been running things for the last 3 years..... DaveDavenham
  • Score: 0

2:52pm Thu 26 Apr 12

jcvics89 says...

its not all jim remember the previous pillock who just vanished without answers!
its not all jim remember the previous pillock who just vanished without answers! jcvics89
  • Score: 0

3:08pm Thu 26 Apr 12

xenosisuk says...

I'm in full support of JR, if people want to go and make their own sunday league club then go. Hopefully we can sort this ground issue asap!!
I'm in full support of JR, if people want to go and make their own sunday league club then go. Hopefully we can sort this ground issue asap!! xenosisuk
  • Score: 0

3:49pm Thu 26 Apr 12

Paul Roughsedge says...

Jim if you are staying then lets see some proper plans to get this club moving forward. what are thor doing with the stadium?,we can't play out of Northwich the fans have had enough,every season the gates go down, we just want to watch our team play if we go down on the pitch well we can handle that it's all the off field troubles that we are fed up with.
Jim if you are staying then lets see some proper plans to get this club moving forward. what are thor doing with the stadium?,we can't play out of Northwich the fans have had enough,every season the gates go down, we just want to watch our team play if we go down on the pitch well we can handle that it's all the off field troubles that we are fed up with. Paul Roughsedge
  • Score: 0

4:25pm Thu 26 Apr 12

THETELLEROFTALES says...

This is a very interesting article and Mr Rushe's comments actually create more questions than he is seemingly prepared to answer.
My guess is he simply doesn't want to be remembered as the bloke who led Northwich Vics into football oblivion.
He doesn't want that on his cv.
Vics fans are faced with a real problem. They can either continue to support Mr Rushe and 'hope for the best,' or they can simply join together and form another club under a different name and start again at the very bottom of the football pyramid. They can't do both.
What is important is that ALL VICS FANS need to do one or the other....there is no middle ground.
The die, so to speak, has been caste.
This is a very interesting article and Mr Rushe's comments actually create more questions than he is seemingly prepared to answer. My guess is he simply doesn't want to be remembered as the bloke who led Northwich Vics into football oblivion. He doesn't want that on his cv. Vics fans are faced with a real problem. They can either continue to support Mr Rushe and 'hope for the best,' or they can simply join together and form another club under a different name and start again at the very bottom of the football pyramid. They can't do both. What is important is that ALL VICS FANS need to do one or the other....there is no middle ground. The die, so to speak, has been caste. THETELLEROFTALES
  • Score: 0

6:35am Fri 27 Apr 12

Antony Rogers says...

Rushe said......
"If I had been paid the cash owed to me" (Referring to the FA Cup prize money)

I have read that statement several times and can not believe the arrogance of this man, he has no remorse at all for what he has done and shows complete disrespect to creditors.

Rushe, if you had 'paid the cash owed to creditors' when it was due, you wouldn't be in this situation and OUR club would still be alive.

Call yourself a businessman, you're nothing but a crook and a conman.
Rushe said...... "If I had been paid the cash owed to me" (Referring to the FA Cup prize money) I have read that statement several times and can not believe the arrogance of this man, he has no remorse at all for what he has done and shows complete disrespect to creditors. Rushe, if you had 'paid the cash owed to creditors' when it was due, you wouldn't be in this situation and OUR club would still be alive. Call yourself a businessman, you're nothing but a crook and a conman. Antony Rogers
  • Score: 0

5:05pm Sun 29 Apr 12

Jim Budden says...

JB
There is no information coming out of NVFC. The supporters want to know whats happening. This is their football team, that is now the laughing stock of Cheshire. The players and the supporters pride has been hurt and they want answers, What is happening behind the scenes, will we have a team for next season. We should be looking somewhere nearer than Stafford
to play. It is obvious that it is going to be long and hard to get
us in some sort of shape, but let us have everything up front and bills paid on time to start with.
Jimbo
JB There is no information coming out of NVFC. The supporters want to know whats happening. This is their football team, that is now the laughing stock of Cheshire. The players and the supporters pride has been hurt and they want answers, What is happening behind the scenes, will we have a team for next season. We should be looking somewhere nearer than Stafford to play. It is obvious that it is going to be long and hard to get us in some sort of shape, but let us have everything up front and bills paid on time to start with. Jimbo Jim Budden
  • Score: 0

5:36pm Mon 30 Apr 12

cheshire bob says...

Rushe is no better than Vaughnan, get rid and start again.
Rushe is no better than Vaughnan, get rid and start again. cheshire bob
  • Score: 0

8:13pm Wed 2 May 12

Jim Budden says...

JB
I went to watch the lads play at Winsford last night , they eventually won 4-3 after extra
time making hard work of it but at least the lads were there. Hopefully we can keep most of them to make a big push to get back next season. Good luck.
Jimbo
JB I went to watch the lads play at Winsford last night , they eventually won 4-3 after extra time making hard work of it but at least the lads were there. Hopefully we can keep most of them to make a big push to get back next season. Good luck. Jimbo Jim Budden
  • Score: 0

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