Those who still take The Non-League Paper, or perhaps more likely these days its younger sister The League Paper, may be struggling to find copies for a while. Publication of The League Paper has been suspended, with no decision as to whether it will recommence. The Non-League Paper is expected to continue appearing, with owner Chris Ingram, chairman of Conference club Woking, having refinanced the paper to keep it going in the short term.
The papers have gone into administration, for the second time, following the discovery of "financial irregularities". In 2002 The Non-league Paper needed the protection of administration after £272,000 was found to be missing from the company finances.
Of this second occasion founding editor David Emery said :
We were in the process of doing a management buyout involving myself when we discovered these problems. We are trying to discover where the money has gone and how.
This is a problem for lots of small companies who rely on financial experts to handle their accounts. Personally it is a horror that people who you trust in a small company can betray you so badly that it puts the business in jeopardy.
The exact size of the hole in the accounts has not yet been revealed, but financial director Jonathan Stobart and account manager Dave Swinton have already left the company, and Emery intimated he expected it to become a police matter.
The papers employ seven full-time journalists, but the bulk of the output relies on hundreds of freelance reporters, many of whom haven't been paid for their work for months and are owed four figure sums. Other content is provided by the agency Sportsbeat, and they are expected to be a major creditor.
As a number of journalists read this site, if you have sums owed for any work done for either paper you are advised by the company to contact the administrators, Vantis, on 020 7467 4000 as soon as possible.
The Non-League Paper is reported to make a small profit, but the more recent launch of the The League Paper has driven the company into the red. If a buyer can be found to salvage the enterprise it is thought unlikely that the latter paper will be resurrected.
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