Football: Barnet 'face liquidation in 24 hours'

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The Independent Online
BARNET moved into familiar territory yesterday, when the newly-promoted Second Division club were threatened with closure. Stanley Beller, the company secretary, has warned the new manager, Ed Stein, that the club would be put into liquidation inside 24 hours unless 'things are sorted out'.

The club has debts of pounds 1.3m, including fines due to the Football League and the Football Association. Players and staff have not been paid for three weeks. 'Mr Beller told me that if things were not sorted out by tomorrow, the company would cease trading,' Stein said. 'I do really fear that this is the end.'

Alan Ball and his club, Exeter City, have been charged by the Football Association over last month's incident when a referee, Bob Hamer, was knocked to the ground by angry fans after Hamer awarded a last-minute penalty award that allowed Port Vale to equalise. After the game Ball, the Exeter manager, had to be restrained from approaching the referee.

Ball has been charged with bringing the game into disrepute, while the Second Division club face playing behind closed doors at the start of next season if they are found guilty of failing to control their fans.

At the Football League's annual meeting on Friday, club chairmen will discuss the proposal that a 5 per cent levy on all transfer fees and a 10 per cent levy on end-of-season prize- money, should be put towards stadium improvements.

In Japan, Gary Lineker will be out of action for at least six weeks after suffering a stress fracture of a toe during Nagoya Grampus Eight's defeat by Gamba Osaka on Saturday.

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