From the Brighton Argus
End of an era for Crawley Town
by Tom Gurney
Administrators Begbies Traynor will start the process of winding up the limited company after a creditors' committee voted to reject an offer from former owners Chas and Azwar Majeed to buy back the Conference club.
Former diamond dealer John Goodwin is now preparing to form a new club to play at the council-run Broadfield Stadium and enter it into the Ryman League for this season.
The Argus understands the Inland Revenue, which was owed £250,000 in unpaid taxes and VAT, and former administration worker Ian Holman voted to reject the Majeeds' attempt to regain control.
Crawley District Council is believed to have voted in favour and football agent Andy Sprott abstained.
Mr Goodwin, 62, pulled out of making a bid to buy the club last week after discovering the high running costs.
He is confident his new club, which will be called a different name, will be given the go-ahead at a Football Association committee meeting tomorrow.
Mr Goodwin, a former chairman at Bishop's Stortford and Romford Football Clubs, said: "I understand the club as we know it has been liquidated but things are already in motion to form a new club.
"I have been working very hard behind the scenes to make sure Crawley continue to play football.
"I have been negotiating with the council for some time and there will definitely be football at the Broadfield Stadium.
"A new club has already been formed by me, we have to change its name but I can assure everyone it will not be too different for what it is now."
The Majeeds, who took over in July 2005, voluntarily handed over the running of the club to Begbies Traynor in June, after running up debts of £1.4 million.
Administrator Rob Sadler put the club up for sale two weeks ago after its creditors' rejected repayment proposals from the Majeeds' company SA Retail Limited.
He received only one bid, which came from the Majeeds.
Mr Goodwin said: "The debt was so enormous and their ongoing contractual obligations so substantial that the club just could not sustain itself.
"It would have gone bust during the season and that would have been the end of football in Crawley altogether.
"Unfortunately it was playing higher than it could afford to but that is not to say it can't play at that level in the future.
"I want to start again at a lower level, make it self sufficient and rebuild it from there."
Crawley were due to start the Conference season on Saturday at home against Rushden and Diamonds.
If a new club is formed, it is likely to be entered into Ryman division one, three divisions below the Conference.
Mr Goodwin said: "The council has been very helpful to the club down the years and I believe it will continue to do so.
"The local people want a club at a high level and they deserve one but we have to make sure there is enough money for that to happen.
"I will be the custodian of the club until we are in that position."