The Football Association asked the Football Conference to clear up the contradictions in its rules book following Northwich Victoria’s successful appeal last summer. Did it?

IN short, no.

Northwich Victoria successfully exploited a loophole in the Conference rules in order to win its appeal.

An FA panel ruled that Appendix E, which ordered expulsion as punishment for entering administration, contradicted another rule that said a ten-points deduction was an appropriate sanction.

The Non-League Paper reported last July that the league had amended its rules to prevent a repeat, only for the Conference later to perform an about turn after throwing out Farsley for the same reason.

Then in March Conference spokesman Colin Peake admitted the Conference had not updated its rules on BBC London’s Non-League Show.

He said: “The current Appendix E has been in place for four years. There is no change this year.

“Clubs know that by the second Saturday in May they have to pay their creditors in full. That’s the story.”

Clarify the exact words of Appendix E (yet) again.

THE following extract applies in Northwich Victoria’s case:

[…Further, a club will not be eligible for membership of the competition for the following season if it shall have entered into an Insolvency Event during the preceding season and have exited such Insolvency Event without paying its creditors, including but not limited to football creditors, in full…]

To clarify further, a Football Conference season starts when the first round of league matches kicks off.

But it doesn’t say ‘payment in full’ = 100p in every £.


However, in an email to the Guardian on Tuesday, Conference general manager Dennis Strudwick made clear what the league’s interpretation is.

He wrote: “The club has not confirmed it is compliant with Appendix E by paying all its creditors in full, i.e. 100p in the pound. It is not, therefore, eligible for membership next season.”

Does Appendix E apply to clubs entering the Football Conference after being relegated from the Football League? Surely the Football Association can not accept that the rules change within the same competition for different clubs?

(Submitted by Guardian reader Brian Ashley)

THE Conference amended Appendix E at last year’s annual meeting in incorporate a provision that deals directly with insolvent clubs relegated from the Football League.

It reads: “…In the event of a Football League club entering the competition subject to any Insolvency Event then…that shall not make the club ineligible from membership.

“In the event of any Football League club suffering, undergoing or entering into an Insolvency Event in its first season in the competition and being still subject to that Insolvency Event by the date of the annual meeting at the end of its first season in the competition then that…shall not make the club ineligible for membership the following season.”

In the same radio interview in March referred to above, Conference spokesman Colin Peake made clear that former Football League clubs were to be treated differently.

He said: “Instead of having one year to [exit administration via a CVA] they now have two.

“That was the only change to the rule [last summer].”

So what on earth happened at last June’s Football Conference annual meeting?

NOBODY appears to know for sure.

The Non-League Paper carried a report last July that suggested those present could not even agree on what proposed amendments, if any, they had voted on.

Read that report here

Is Northwich Victoria Football Club (2004) Ltd now out of administration?

IN a word, yes.

An administration order can come to an end automatically after one calendar year – in Vics’ case on May 14 – providing no application for an extension has been made to a court.

A company set up by owner Jim Rushe in October 2007, The Northwich Victoria Football Club (2007) Ltd, will now buy the Wincham-based club.

It will take on the responsibility of paying back the old firm’s remaining debts – a 42p dividend for every pound owed – in monthly instalments over a fixed time period.

Administrator Gary Pettit, from Marshman Price, told the Guardian on Tuesday that all the relevant paperwork had been prepared for the Football Association’s approval.

It appears that Rushe intends to proceed, even though the terms of a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) do not satisfy those insisted upon by the Football Conference ie. 100p in every pound owed is paid back to all creditors.

Where does this leave the players?

NORTHWICH Victoria has two players under contract for next season; Michael Connor and Wayne Riley.

Manager Andy Preece offered terms of re-engagement to two others – Michael Aspin and Harry Winter – leaving the rest of the squad as free agents.

The Vics boss told the Guardian that he had spoken all of the team to make them aware of the ongoing situation.

He is assured most will wait for the outcome of any appeal against Vics’ expulsion from the Football Conference, whichever route that may take, before deciding upon their future.

PLEASE feel free to submit a question if yours has not been answered above.

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