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Hinckley United: End of the road or a fresh start?

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Liquidation. 

A word among football fans that is feared.

Liquidation means their football club ceases to exist. For one Leicestershire town yesterday, liquidation became a reality.

After 114 proud years, Hinckley had lost it's football club. The cash-strapped Knitters has been wound up by the High Court.

Saturday's 3-0 defeat at Chesham United was the final match in a turbulent existence of Hinckley, and the DeMontfort Stadium will lie empty for the foreseeable future.

With financial constraints prompting the demise of many football clubs, we beg the question; what's going wrong?

As Hinckley faces its first day without a football club, for the supporters, no doubt, it is not the end.

There are clear example today of how the fans have risen their teams from the ashes to form a phoenix club. Hinckley United are not alone. As fans on some outfits will tell you, this is just the beginning of a new chapter....

AFC Wimbledon are a fine example of moral victory for fans.

With the FA allowing Wimbledon FC's moved to Milton Keynes, the original Crazy Gang who were bereft at the loss of their club formed their own side from scratch, and started from the bottom in the Combined Counties League.

As Wimbledon FC lost it's identity and became Milton Keynes Dons, AFC Wimbledon were born.

Fan's took ownership of their club, holding trials on Wimbledon Common, selecting a strong line up and found a new home at Kingsmeadow. The Dons have endured a rapid rise up the leagues, achieving nine promotions in 11 years,and now find themselves one league below their controversial incarnation MK Dons in League Two.

They have a tight knit fan base and most importantly, are fan owned. A return to Plough Lane, the original home of Wimbledon FC looks likely for AFC Wimbledon. A moral victory for fans who had their club ripped away.

The love a football fan has for their club, whatever league, whichever country, will never die, The passion will never die. As AFC Wimbledon fans have shown, the end is not the end.

For the supporters Darlington FC the story is not dissimilar. Their club may not have been moved 70 miles up the M1, but they too lost their club. Darlington FC were at the heart of the Durham town.

The club played at Feethams, an 8500 capacity ground in the centre of Darlington before their infamous and controversial chairman George Reynolds moved the Quakers to the Arena (it's had several names!) on the outskirts of the town. This sparked the downfall of Darlington FC.

An unfeasible, unsustainable, 25,000 seater white elephant eventually cost Darlo' their existence.

With the club averaging between 1500 and 2000 supporters since its grand opening, the costs to run the stadium became too much. Relegation to the Conference led to crowds dwindling further, and soon financial trouble hit the Quakers. On 21st June 2012, Darlington FC ceased to exist. But come Saturday 18th August 2012, Darlington 1883 was formed, in respect of its previous clubs founding date. 

Chester City, Rushden & Diamonds, Aldershot and Telford United. Just a few clubs to have risen again and who are all the better for it.

While Rushden & Diamonds (or AFC as they are now known) may be an amateur side in the Northamptonshire Youth League, they are a club.

A club which without the fans, would never exist. Chester FC are just one tier away from the comfortable surroundings of the Football League, and are enjoying a mixed season in the Conference.

They may not be doing too well in the league but their fans have a club. Aldershot may be in more financial trouble, but their fans have a club. My point is, these fans have a club.

But back to Hinckley, I feel that these clubs have shown that the club folding is not necessarily a bad thing.

Sure, starting from the bottom is tough and long winded but note, without your club on Saturday what would you do? Hinckley I believe will come back in some shape or form, but the frustration for fans of this small club in Leicestershire must be the fact of how ridiculous money is in football now. Yet a club cannot balance £200,000 of debt - two thirds of the weekly wage of a certain Madird-based Welshman

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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