George shares plan with Poppies fans

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Prospective new Kettering Town owner George Rolls last night told fans the club needs their help if it is to survive.

Mr Rolls met Kettering Town supporters for the first time at a fans forum held at Nene Park.

And he urged them to get behind the club in any way possible, in particular by making the most of the facilities at their disposal.

Mr Rolls said: “Everybody in the room now needs to be a salesman for the club, selling this wonderful venue that we have.

“The only way this club will survive is nothing to do with the football team, but with this venue.”

Mr Rolls said fans should spread the word about what the stadium has to offer, encouraging people to hold parties or meetings there.

He added that the club would be embracing the community and visiting local schools, trying to win over the next generation of supporters.

The former Cambridge United chairman told fans that the club is £425,000 in debt and – despite agreeing deals with 90 per cent of its creditors – it is still losing about £40,000 every month because of overheads and contracts that were already in place before his involvement.

No transfer of shares from current chairman Imraan Ladak can take place until the club has sorted out the winding-up petition from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs.

The hearing will take place on April 2.

Mr Rolls said fans should forget about the ghost of Rushden and Diamonds and embrace their new home.

He said: “Forget Rushden and Diamonds, they don’t exist. Let’s get rid of everything to do with them and make it all about Kettering.

“The Diamond Centre? Why on earth would it be called that now?

“Even the ground itself could be called something else.

“Everybody has got to spread the word that this is now the home of Kettering Town.”

One step Mr Rolls has already taken is reinstating the club’s youth set up.

He said there would be teams from under nines to under 18s playing next season, and is in talks with Moulton College about an apprenticeship scheme.

He added: “I’m not going to keep pumping £500,000 into the club every season because that won’t work.

“All I can ask is that all the fans, even those who only come once a season, support the club over the next few weeks.”