An unnamed League Two club have allegedly been put into administration with points likely to be deducted according to reports on Thursday.
Freelance journalist James Goodwin first came out with the worrying news, though it would be a boost to the sides at risk of relegation in the League Two table with the deduction automatically 12 points.
He wrote: “I’m told a L2 club are to be put into administration unless a rescue is found. £30m in debt, likely to hand a relegation lifeline to Southend, Barrow and Grimsby.
“I do know which club but out of respect to their staff, and the fluid situation, I’m not putting it out there at this time.“
This then led fans to believe it was Colchester as on the 30th of March 2021, the reliable @KieranMaguire stated that the U’s lost about £1.8 million in 2019/20 taking total losses to £31 million.
— PriceOfFootball (@KieranMaguire) March 30, 2021
He adds: “Colchester staff numbers fell from 296 to 266 in 2020. Club bought players for £161k in the season.
“Colchester owe over £26 million to parent Aspire Media Group.”
Colchester United Owner and Chairman Robbie Cowling has issued the following statement:
I’m making this statement in response to rumours that Colchester United are about to go into administration.
I can assure everyone that Colchester United will never go into administration whilst I am its owner and I intend to remain as the owner for the foreseeable.
I am almost certain that this rumour was initiated because the EFL clubs that have applied for a monitored loan were discussed at the EFL Board meeting this morning and someone at that meeting has leaked the details of the clubs that have made those applications.
The fact that we have applied for the monitored loan should not come as a surprise to anyone as I had already mentioned that I would be applying for one in an earlier statement I made this year.
Even before the pandemic, Colchester United needed financial support and my businesses have always been there to provide it.
This year’s profits in my other businesses have been affected by the pandemic but I have sold a number of assets to make sure that funds are available for all of my businesses should they be required.
However, the opportunity to make use of the monitored loan facility seemed like a good idea.
The fact that someone at the EFL felt it was appropriate to spread this story about our club has been very unhelpful and I have informed the EFL today that we will not be making use of the loan facility after all.
Hopefully I can have a day off tomorrow to enjoy our game against Oldham, and the rumour mongers will find an alternative target for their gossip.
It comes after Colchester chairman Robbie Cowling insisted that his decision to keep on top of the club’s bills and not defer payments will ultimately benefit the relegation-threatened League Two club.
“It could be the best decision I’ve made as chairman,” he told BBC Essex.
“If it goes wrong and we get relegated then it will probably the worst decision. It’s as nuclear as that.”
Colchester owe over £26 million to parent Aspire Media Group pic.twitter.com/DzWuWEzmDT
— PriceOfFootball (@KieranMaguire) March 30, 2021
Cowling has issued a warning to other clubs who have chose not to keep on top of their finances during a year when, to comply with pandemic health and safety protocol, English football has for the majority been played out in empty grounds.
He argues that when crowds return, the U’s will be in a better shape than most, as long as they stay in the EFL.
“People in football have made different decisions,” said Cowling.
“I made the decision to go tight on our finances and take all the hit on the chin this season.
“But the last I heard was that, up in the Championship, just in terms of PAYE payments – the money we take out of the players’ wages and pass on to the taxman – there had been £150m of payments deferred. That’s just from those 24 clubs.
“Colchester have paid every penny – and of our VAT too. And of our wages.
“We’ve deferred nothing. And, as long as we survive this year, we will be in very good stead.”
“Some fans need to be careful what they wish for,” added Cowling to BBC Essex, following comments from concerned supporters.
“This season is about two issues. One, to survive the financial repercussions of the pandemic. Two, to stay in the Football League. And, at the moment, I’m very optimistic.
“Nobody ever dreamt that this would all take as long as it has lasted.
“I’ll accept it at the end of the season if it’s decision that has gone wrong
“It will be more painful for me than anyone else but I’ll take it on the chin and I’ll be the one that will have to get us out of it.
“But if it’s painful for us, it will be even more painful for other clubs.”
Fans reacted to reports a League Two club have allegedly been put into administration with points to be deducted…
Sounds like Colchester,how does a league 2 side get that much debt? pic.twitter.com/tM9pRVvV7F
— Placebob (@Placebob2) April 8, 2021
@Redimp73: 30 mill at league two level ? That’s a crazy number !
@StuartAkister: £30m? Jesus
@ShrimpersTalk: Wouldn’t wish this on any club not even the ewes even if it meant us staying up.
@ollieshone: Cowling if this is you, you are a fucking lying cunt, the ONE thing you prided yourself on & people liked you for was keeping the club going, so where the fuck did all that money go? And if it’s not Colchester, sort out the debt and get the fuck out this club before it is #colu
@rootshall1992: Wouldn’t wish this on any supporters whatever effect it might have on our league status- even C*l U
@notleco: Most likely Colchester or Oldham, Cause both would impact Southend and Grimsby’s season if a deduction was put in place
@FootieRealist: £30m in debt? How the actual fuck does a League Two club even manage that?
@coludan: If this is #Colu then I’ve been expecting this, only a matter of time before Robbie relises that his way of running our football club isn’t going to work, nearly 2 million a year towards a academy not producing the goods, was always going to happen.
@cambo691: Gotta be colchester
@mrstuartbailey: @benashworth94 Rumours that Colchester going into admin – £30million in debt – might only need to come second bottom to stay up now
@adam_major1: Reckon it’s Colchester. Names 3 of the bottom 4 in his tweet but not 22nd placed Colchester.
@LeagueTwoFocus: 😳😳😳 Got to be Oldham or Colchester right?
Talk continued on talks that a League Two club have allegedly been put into administration with points to be deducted…
@Denton_james: Turns out it could also be Colchester, get them down. Imagine the riots if it keeps Southend up
@1901MainStand: This seems to strongly suggest Colchester #gtfc
@WackoWalton: Colchester isn’t it?
@MasoniiBWFC: Can’t believe Colchester are in 30m debt. Always thought they were a well run club from the outside
@SkhTrains: 30 million in League Two is horrific levels of debt, looks like it’s #colu, hopefully they are rescued asap
@southern_dale: I feel really bad for the fans of this club. If this was Rochdale, I think I’d be physically sick… multiple times.
@AlbzSFC: 30m in debt at L2 level? just shut the club down