Season ends in a tie for financially strapped clubs

Nevertheless, this was a welcome sign that football is preparing to live within its means. This season, hopefully, clubs will return to their natural home on the sports pages rather than the business section.

Despite last week’s liquidation of conference side Telford United (one of the most successful non-league clubs of recent years), financial discipline can pay off.

Crystal Palace, a club in administration only four years ago, made an unlikely return to the Premiership. Queens Park Rangers will return to the first division next season, after emerging from administration in 2002. Huddersfield and Hull also went from administration to promotion to division two.

Arguments will always rage about whether clubs buy themselves an advantage by going into administration and emerging financially stronger, while rivals who tough it out are left debt-ridden. But now at least there are success stories to point to. Financial discipline off the pitch, it is clear, does not rule out success on it.

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