The Northern Football League
Published 17th April 2012
....to secure its place in Division One.
The club was formed in 1967 as Billingham Sporting as what is known in law as an unincorporated association: it was not a company.
In 1982 the club was elected to the Northern League and changed its name to Billingham Town. The club remained an unincorporated association.
In April 1994 Billingham Town Football Club Limited was incorporated to develop the ground. At present there is only one director of the limited company.
Chairman Richard Bloomfield said: “I have established from the League that there has never been any application – as there would have to be – to change the status of the club from the unincorporated association which was elected into the League to the limited company. The club should always have been recorded as the unincorporated association.
“Unfortunately, at some stage the League has changed the status to the limited company when it should not have done. The only explanation must be to be that the League has made a mistake.
“I have been in contact with the FA and I was advised by the League and Clubs Manager Mike Appleby in an e-mail sent on 12th March 2012 that: ‘As far as I am concerned I would have to agree with your views in that, if Billingham Town FC is the entity name registered with the Northern League and there has been no change approved then clearly they remain the member.’
“Even the governing body says that without an approved change, the original entity remains the member of the league.”
The position is crucial because Billingham Town Football Club Limited faces a winding-up petition in the High Court in London on Monday 23rd April 2012.
The club is asking the High Court to declare that the original unincorporated association (now run by Executive Committee) is the club which is entitled to play in the league and for an injunction to prevent the League from throwing it out.
Bloomfield continued: “The chairman of the league has been aware of the position for some weeks. I have repeatedly asked the chairman how they can throw Billingham Town Football Club Limited out of the League when the League has never voted the company in in the first place. I have also asked time and again to be told who changed the status of the club and why, but I have received no answer.
“The chairman of the league was given notice of the intended litigation and advised to seek independent legal advice but appears not to have done so. Most certainly, I have not had any reasoned response.
“It is imperative that action is taken to prevent the club from being wrongly thrown out of the League. Once that has happened, it will be hard to get back in.”