Kettering Town open talks with Corby over possible surprise move to Steel Park

Kettering Town fans at Latimer Park
Kettering Town fans at Latimer Park

Kettering Town Football Club have opened discussions about a possible move to play at Corby Town Football Club after attempts to secure a fresh lease at Latimer Park in Burton Latimer hit a stumbling block.

Just a day after the Poppies secured promotion to the Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division, the club’s management has revealed that it has been offered a deal to start talks on a long-term lease at their current home Latimer Park.

However, a club spokesman said the current deal is not financially viable.

It means the club could be left homeless, despite having a strong desire to remain in the borough of Kettering.

Poppies chairman Ritchie Jeune has confirmed that discussions have taken place with Corby about the possibility of playing at Steel Park again after they staged matches there in the midst of their financial crisis two years ago.

Mr Jeune said: “We are trying to negotiate a long-term lease for us and Burton Park Wanderers at Latimer Park.

“It would be a shame if we can’t do that but I have to look at the best, viable options for the club.

“No decision has been made but we have had discussions with Corby and I am again grateful to them for that.

“At this stage going back there would be more viable for the club, even taking into account the loss in crowds that I know we would get.”

In an exclusive briefing to the Northamptonshire Telegraph, a Poppies club spokesman said remaining at Latimer Park was their preferred option.

However, the spokesman said: “We don’t feel the deal on the table to stay at Latimer Park is beneficial for Kettering Town. The best viable option that the club can see is, unfortunately, to move out of the borough.

“Since the chairman has come to the club, the main aim has always been to play in the borough. The board want it and the fans want it.

“But, even though we are now back in the Southern League Premier Division, it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen.

“There are still talks going on at the moment. The club hasn’t got the massive pot that people think it has got. There are strict budgets to make the club sustainable.”

The club has given up on a possible site at Avondale School and has not been able to confirm whether the Poppies’ former home at Rockingham Road has been sold.

The spokesman said: “We want negotiations to be progressive and we want the club to get the right deal to keep us in the borough.

“A number of clubs have been moved out of the town and we know that if we have to go, the supporters will see it as a backward step.”

The spokesman added: “We don’t want to move, we are happy where we are. The supporters are happy and the board are happy.

“We feel it’s more profitable for the club to spend money on upgrading the facilities at Latimer Park rather than having to go back a step. We feel us being there has lifted Burton Latimer as a whole and to move away from that with the club being out of the borough is being back at square one.

“We need to find the best place in the short, medium or long-term to keep Kettering Town going. The board and chairman are doing their best.”

The Telegraph contacted the agents for the landowners who said they did not wish to comment.