Jeune will continue to help Poppies but admits updates on ‘investors’ would be useful

Ritchie Jeune
Ritchie Jeune

Ritchie Jeune insists he and an “army of volunteers” will continue to do all they can to help keep Kettering Town alive.

But he admits they could all do some updates on any potential new investment in the club to help “motivate” them in their bid to help the crisis-stricken Poppies.

Jeune first became involved with the club at the start of the year and was all set to be a director in George Rolls’ proposed takeover, which eventually fell through when Rolls was banned from football activity for five years due to a breach of FA betting rules.

The Poppies’ financial problems have been evident since early in the season and it was on the first day of the Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division campaign that Jeune’s role became more unofficial.

He had previously been appointed as the club’s new chairman but he was in the position for just a week before being removed by the shareholders.

Since then, it has been one miserable tale for the Poppies with players’ wages not being paid, the club falling behind in their re-payments on their Company Voluntary Arrangement and the electricity being cut off at their Nene Park home.

It resulted in them having to satisfy the Southern League Board that they were able to continue their campaign and, to ensure it happened, Jeune completed a deal with Corby Town chairman Kevin Ingram to play their ‘home’ game with Redditch United at Steel Park nearly two weeks ago.

Since then, Alan Doyle’s new-look squad, have suffered three defeats that leaves them 19 points adrift of safety at the foot of the table and almost certain to be relegated.

But they are set to be back at Steel Park again on Sunday to take on Bedworth United as Jeune and the other volunteers continue to do all they can to keep the club going.

“I haven’t put a time limit on how long I will help the club through this period,” Jeune said.

“I am in the same position as the fans really. I think we would all like updates on what is going on to help motivate us to carry on doing what we have been doing.

“It isn’t just me. There are people like Ken Samuel, Gary Graham, Bob Brown, the Poppies Trust and Malc Harris. We have an army of volunteers doing all they can to keep the club alive.

“And I think that will continue but only while there is light at the end of the tunnel, which is what we are led to believe at the moment.

“One of the biggest moral issues that has faced us is the lack of re-payments on the CVA. The club went into that and it let down local businesses and then even the re-payments weren’t being made.

“By keeping the club alive and playing matches, we are able to use gate receipts to ensure we stay up to date with those payments.

“We need to create an environment that shows the club is still supported well and sustainable to any potential investors. But there is a moral issues to look at as well.

“I want the club to survive and I certainly don’t want its reputation to be tarnished any more than it already has.”

The Poppies are playing at Wellingborough Town in the quarter-finals of the NFA Hillier Senior Cup tonight (7.45pm).