Ladak: Poppies won’t survive without investment

Imraan Ladak
Imraan Ladak

Imraan Ladak says it will be “impossible” for Kettering Town to stay alive without external investment.

The club’s majority shareholder has spoken out as the Poppies head towards another financial crisis at the start of the Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division campaign.

Ladak has returned in the short-term after he and the other shareholders removed Ritchie Jeune from the position of chairman.

That has prompted the Kettering Town (Poppies) Supporters Trust to step back in its role of helping to run the club, which it had been doing along with Jeune following the five-year suspension from football activity imposed on prospective owner George Rolls by the Football Association for a breach of their betting rules.

Ladak says he is trying to find a solution to the club’s problems and has sent a letter to Trust chairman Mark Severn outlining the issues.

And he insists that whoever eventually takes over the club will need to invest heavily.

“In the long-term it won’t be my football club, that is a fact,” Ladak said.

“Whoever is in charge, it will be their responsibility to ensure they are budgeting prudently and meeting their obligations.

“At this level, the club will always need external investment.

“It is impossible for it to stay alive at this level with the attendances that we are now seeing without people putting their hands in their pockets.”

Ladak, meanwhile, believes he will be proved right in his belief that one of the club’s previous sponsors still owes them over £400,000.

“I know everything that has happened in the last year has given everyone a bad impression of my management of the club,” he said.

“But I know that when there was a shortfall, I put it in and I know this club is owed £422,000 by its sponsor from last year.

“That company is either going to settle or lose in court and when that happens it will prove we didn’t create a problem.

“That is a massive black mark on me that I know will be removed.

“But there is no mischief in me being here now. I am just keeping it going and if I wasn’t then there wouldn’t be a club.”

Ladak’s reign as chairman ended in financial crisis and eventually resulted in them entering a Company Voluntary Arrangement during the summer to clear debts of £1.2m.

But a transfer of shares to Rolls didn’t happen before the FA suspension was imposed on the prospective owner.