Ritchie Jeune has urged the shareholders of Kettering Town to show players and fans alike that the club does have a long-term future.
The first day of the Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division campaign, which saw the Poppies draw 0-0 at Weymouth, was overshadowed by a statement that was placed on the club’s website ahead of the match.
It stated that Jeune, who had been announced as the new chairman at Nene Park just over a week ago, was now only a volunteer along with the Kettering Town (Poppies) Supporters Trust.
Sources from within the club suggested it was previous chairman and majority shareholder Imraan Ladak who had written the statement.
Ladak’s reign ended in financial crisis with the club so nearly going bust before George Rolls and Jeune arrived in the new year to help steady the ship.
Rolls was banned from football activity for five years over the summer after being found guilty of over 3,000 breaches of the Football Association’s betting rules.
No transfer of shares was made, which means Ladak remains the club’s owner even though it has been run by volunteers including Jeune in the build-up to the new campaign.
But Jeune has now confirmed that the shareholders have rejected his proposals for the club’s future, which he says would have made it “stable and sustainable in the long-term”.
In a statement sent to the Northants Telegraph, Jeune said: “I am obviously disappointed by the actions of the shareholders.
“But, as with any limited company, the shareholders have the right to appoint and remove board members.
“I, along with the other directors, the supporters trust and a legal team, have for several weeks been working on what we believe to be a business plan which would make the football club stable and sustainable in the long-term.
“This plan is based on self-generated funds and the current committed level of external funding available to the club.
“The shareholders do not agree that the proposed plan is in the best interest of the football club. That is a decision I accept but fundamentally disagree with.
“To remove the air of uncertainty around the club, we urge the shareholders to form a new board as soon as possible and secure funding so that the players and fans can be assured of the club’s future.”
When contacted by the Northants Telegraph, Jeune added: “We began working on a new plan after George was banned.
“We put the proposal together but the shareholders don’t like it.
“There is nothing more I can. In any limited company, the shareholders have that right.
“They don’t believe our plan is in the best interests of the football club and that is a decision I have to accept.”.