EXCLUSIVE - Jeune confirms his plan was for Poppies to ground share at Corby

Ritchie Jeune
Ritchie Jeune

Ritchie Jeune has confirmed the first stage of his proposal to give Kettering Town a “sustainable” future was a temporary ground share with Corby Town.

Jeune announced himself as the new chairman of the Poppies two weeks ago but left the position last Saturday following a statement from the club’s shareholders.

Majority shareholder Imraan Ladak is now back on the scene at Nene Park, claiming Jeune and the Kettering Town (Poppies) Supporters Trust, who had been running the club, don’t have the funds needed.

It has thrown the club’s future back into doubt and Jeune has now revealed the details of his proposals that were turned down by the shareholders.

Rumours had been abound about the plan to ground share at Steel Park.

And when asked whether the speculation was true, Jeune said: “That is absolutely correct.

“It actually dates back to an agreement between the two clubs from February, 2009 but obviously the deal had been renegotiated.

“They weren’t the only ones we spoke to but it was the option that made the most sense.

“Our legal team were telling us we had grounds to break the lease at Nene Park, although it may be the case that those grounds have been sorted out since they were highlighted.

“Nene Park is great stadium to play football in but it has lacked investment in the facilities.

“If you are asking someone to invest in the club then they also have to invest in the stadium.

“My proposal was that we move the club to a ground where the external investment would cover any shortfall. And the deal would have been for a length of time, during which the club would try to re-home itself permanently.

“The shareholders feel that if we fight the landlord then the club can’t continue. We felt that if we didn’t do something then the club wouldn’t continue anyway.”

Jeune, meanwhile, insists he would be happy to be part of any new consortium that may look to takeover at the Poppies with Ladak claiming that some investors are interested.

But Jeune believes the ill-feeling amongst supporters and volunteers is already threatening the club’s future and he believes it will take a “miracle” for it to survive.

“I have made it clear that if there is a consortium put together then I am happy to be part of that and happy to support it,” Jeune added.

“I am not active within the club at the moment and therefore no new events have been booked at Nene Park and some have been cancelled. People don’t like uncertainty.

“People have already been put in a difficult situation with the CVA and no-one wants to go through that again.

“Can the club survive? Never say never. Miracles can happen.

“I don’t know what the shareholders have planned.

“I am like everyone else, I am eagerly anticipating the announcement from the shareholders.”