Rolls understands Poppies’ fans concerns

GEORGE ROLLS AT GAME, Kettering Town v Wrexham, Nene Park, Blue Square Premier, Saturday 3rd March 2012
GEORGE ROLLS AT GAME, Kettering Town v Wrexham, Nene Park, Blue Square Premier, Saturday 3rd March 2012

George Rolls insists he understands why Kettering Town’s supporters remain concerned and wary of their club’s future.

Information about the club’s proposed Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) has now come into the public domain ahead of the meeting of creditors next Friday.

Should the CVA be approved, the Poppies are set to be officially included in the Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division next season - confirmation should be made at the league’s annual meeting a week on Saturday.

The Poppies’ total debt stands at £1.2m but it has already been confirmed that Rolls, previous chairman Imraan Ladak and the other directors past and present will be writing off their loans to the club.

It is also stated in the CVA documents that the club will be turning part-time for next season.

It all means the chances of the CVA being passed are good, although it will result in other companies and staff, including a number of last season’s playing squad, receiving around 10p in the £1 for what they are owed over the next three years.

The financial situation at Nene Park, which has been rumbling on for months, has seen fans rightfully grow concerned about the club’s future.

The similarities between the Poppies’ plight and the downfall of Rushden & Diamonds last summer seem to be there for all to see.

But Rolls insists a CVA is the only way Kettering will survive. If it is not approved next week, the club is likely to be liquidated.

“Over the past month we have only sold one more season ticket than we had done before that time,” Rolls said.

“That is disappointing for a club of Kettering’s size but I can understand why the fans have been and are worried.

“However, it does mean external funding has had to be used to keep the club going through the summer.

“I can understand why the fans are feeling like they are and I would assume a lot are waiting until after next Friday.

“If the CVA is approved I truly hope the fans get behind the club again. I still want us to sell 300 season tickets.

“I understand why comparisons have been made with Rushden & Diamonds but it is a different situation.

“They were unable to enter a CVA but we have been through a process and the best way forward is for Kettering to go into a CVA.

“It is, ultimately, the only way this club will survive.

“We would not have gone down the route of a CVA if we were not confident of it being approved.”

Rolls, meanwhile, has confirmed the Poppies will play Southend Manor in a pre-season friendly at Nene Park on July 7.

Manor were the Poppies’ opponents in the fourth qualifying round of the FA Cup last season but didn’t receive their share of the gate receipts until the Kettering Town (Poppies) Supporters Trust paid them in the midst of the financial crisis.