Both Northwich Victoria and the new 1874 Northwich have had fairly important weeks but for completely different reasons.
Recently fans of Northwich Victoria voted to break away from their club and start a new one called 1874 Northwich which will be run by the Northwich Victoria Supporters Trust. In short, the reason for this is absolutely appalling management from Jim Rushe (and is more accurately described by a previous blog post).
For 1874 fans this week was another positive step towards having a Northwich team to be proud of again. The North West Counties League has received their application to join next season. As it is technically the club’s first season in existence, and they weren’t playing at step 7 last season the application has to be sent to the FA for them to consider where to place the club (along with Widnes Vikings FC – not affiliated with Stephen Vaughan).
The club has also recently confirmed their affiliation with the Cheshire FA, which is the first of many steps to actually getting a team on the pitch. One major question which does remain, however, is where exactly 1874 Northwich are going to play – they have yet to announce where they will be ground-sharing. This is probably the next major step which the club will have to overcome; they will have to find a ground which is close enough to Northwich to tempt the occasional fan and it also has to be up to the standard required for the North West Counties.
This is much better news than Northwich Victoria had this week. Two months after their owner Jim Rushe had a bankruptcy notice filed against him, (now rescinded) their former holding company Northwich Victoria (2004) Ltd went bust. This has no immediate effect on the team currently plying their trade in Stafford as the league affiliation was transferred from that holding company to another one – Northwich Victoria (2007) Ltd. It does affect all of the debtors who were owed money by Northwich Victoria (2004) Ltd however. Many of these companies were small businesses around Northwich who have now had their fingers burnt by the football club Jim Rushe is still running.
The administrators appointed are Chester-based Steve Fearns whose job it is to investigate the reasons for the company’s failure. This may cause some problems for the old company’s directors (namely Jim Rushe) if it is found they acted improperly.
Whether Rushe willingly allowed Northwich Victoria (2004) Ltd to fail to avoid paying debts is a a question for the administrators but this latest failure is further proof that Rushe can’t run a club properly. How anyone can continue to support this man’s version of a football club is beyond me. The club is in Stafford not Northwich, it has large debts, no stadium of their own to get revenue off and crowds under 100. In short – it has no hope.
Northwich Victoria is dead, long live 1874 Northwich.