Ritchie Jeune has completed a takeover of Kettering Town to bring an end to Imraan Ladak’s near eight-year reign at the club.
In a stunning turn of events for the Poppies, Jeune – who has been leading the club as a volunteer since it almost went out of business at the end of last year – signed a shareholders agreement in front of a packed fans forum at the town’s Northern Lights Police Social Club.
The agreement had already been signed by Ladak and the other shareholders and now means Jeune is in possession of 100 per cent of the club’s shares.
It brings to an end a controversial era for the club under Ladak, although there were moments of unparalleled success before it all came crashing down following the club’s relocation to Nene Park.
There is, however, still one final hurdle for Jeune and the Poppies to overcome after Rushden & Diamonds (2008) Ltd took over a winding up order on the club.
The case was adjourned in the High Court on Monday and will be heard again on July 22, although during the forum Jeune confirmed he is confident the situation will be resolved and that the club’s lease at Nene Park is now terminated as a result of the order being brought on them.
Jeune was joined on the top table at the forum by Newlands Centre boss Neil Griffin, who has now become a director of the Poppies while stalwarts Ken Samuel, Bob Brown and Gary Graham were also on hand as the good news was delivered to the supporters, who responded with roars of approval.
The chairman of the Kettering Town (Poppies) Supporters Trust Mark Severn was also in attendance and admitted: “Over the last year or so, Ritchie is the man who has saved this club.”
Jeune is now hoping the club can continue their work at Latimer Park in Burton Latimer as they look to begin the new Southern League Division One Central campaign back in the borough of Kettering having been involved in a ground share with Corby Town during the second half of last season.
“I am relieved,” Jeune said following the forum.
“There are still things to sort out. But we have a good working relationship with Keith Cousins of Rushden & Diamonds (2008) Ltd and hopefully we can get that resolved.
“Hopefully that will be the last surprise and we can get it done and dusted.
“We had a hardcore set of fans here tonight and they seem happy with the situation. I have always found dealing with Imraan Ladak quite pleasant, albeit long-winded.
“Clearly, some fans are pleased to see him go and that is their opinion on it. I am pleased that they are pleased with what has happened.”
Don’t miss full reaction and pictures from the fans forum in Thursday’s Northamptonshire Telegraph and on this website.