Date: 1st February 2010 at 7:31pm
Written by:

FOOTBALL really is a funn old game, isn’t it?

Just a matter of months ago, our precious Accrington Stanley looked on the brink of extinction and now life could not get any better for Stanley supporters.

Back in May 2009, it all started.

The club released a statement saying how the club had been issued with a winding up order from HM Revenue & Customs, and would have to pay a total of £308,000. Money that the club simply did not have.

The news broke after the 2008/09 season had reached it’s climax, a situation that gave club officials the vital time needed to restructure the finances to try to find a solution. One possible avenue mentioned was the revision of the club’s playing staff’s wages, and to basically offload the highest earners if possible.

Which was the most obvious and understandable outcome. But it didn’t sound too good and supporters started to think the worst for the coming campaign already.

So, the date was set for a court date, as the people in the boardroom frantically tried to put together a case that the club could pay the money back.

But things started to look a little brighter, when really they shouldn’t have done. The day before the case was due to be heard in the High Court, London, this statement was released:

‘Accrington Stanley have today reached an agreement with hm revenue and Customs that will see the winding up petition due to be heard at the High Court tomorrow adjourned.

The club have put forward proposals to clear the debt over the next twelve months, and HMRC are satisfied that the club are serious about clearing the debt and will continue to work with the club to that end.’


So, we have 12 months to try to raise the money and keep our club going, right?

Wrong.

Three months later came another club announcement, as the club tried to agree a further adjournment of the winding up order brought by HM Revenue and Customs.

It all came about as the it came to the club’s attention that the tax men wanted the money owed to them a lot sooner than originally agreed, and so back to panic stations it was, SOS!

Save Our Stanley. Website and telephone and text fundraising services were launched by the club as a fundraiser and bucket collectors where swiftly despatched into the town centre.

Our Premier League neighbours Burnley offered to host an SOS Friendly Cup match between the two sides at Turf Moor, with all proceeds going to Stanley, a game that eventually raised over £35,000 for the cause.

The club had made an original payment of £198,000 with Shareholders Ilyas Khan and Peter Marsden offering to make up any shortfall required to satisfy the the winding up order.

All this continued to take place while on the field John Coleman’s men were growing with every game and going from strength to strength, but in January all pressure was lifted as the club announced it was paid upto date under a new board of directors.

So this is the story from the start of the season up to January off the field.

On the field, Stanley are quietly creeping up on the Play-off places and going reletively unnoticed so far, which can only work in our favour.

At this point in time the Reds sit 10th in the Coca-Cola League Two table with three games in hand on Chesterfield, who are currently occupying the last Play-Off spot.

So three games in hand, and only three points off a top seven place, anything is possible for the Crown Ground club at the moment, who are brimming with confidence after reaching the Fourth Round of the FA Cup in recent weeks and hosting a money spinning tie against Premier League side Fulham.

Amazing isn’t it, the contrast in the club.

August saw the season kick off with the club’s future hanging in the balance and without club captain Peter Cavanagh who was banned from all football activities for a betting scandal. And today, well just look at us!

The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. We are Stanley.