Trust have their say over new Poppies crisis

Poppies Supporters Trust chairman Mark Severn (left) and treasurer Michael Quinn
Poppies Supporters Trust chairman Mark Severn (left) and treasurer Michael Quinn

The Kettering Town (Poppies) Supporters Trust have responded to the weekend’s events at Nene Park.

The Poppies’ future looks as uncertain as ever after just one game of the new Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division campaign.

A statement, believed to have been released by former chairman and majority shareholder Imraan Ladak on Saturday, said that Ritchie Jeune, who had taken over as the new chairman, was not an official of the club and was only a volunteer along with the Trust.

Jeune responded by saying that the shareholders, who also include Ladak’s brother Jay and Ray Khan, had rejected his plans for the future and that there was “nothing more I can do”.

Now the Trust, who have been managing all monies in and out of the club and paying creditors, have said they will step back from that role.

The statement, issued by Trust chairman Mark Severn, also confirmed that the Trust had not yet been offered the 24 per cent share in the club they were told they would get for their part in keeping the club afloat last winter.

With storm clouds continuing to build over Nene Park, Severn has now called for the shareholders to hold a public meeting to tell the fans the exact situation at the club.

The Northants Telegraph also understands that at least one member of the Trust Board has resigned over the situation,

In the statement, Severn said: “Following Saturday’s statement from the Football Club, the Trust would like to clarify its position in relation to events at the Club.

“As was widely publicised, when George Rolls arrived at the club, it was his intention to pass 24% shareholding of the club (following a successful takeover) to the Supporters Trust as reward for the work that was put into assisting with keeping the club afloat from November 2011 through to the May CVA decision.

“The CVA was an opportunity we felt (although regrettable for all the creditors) to start afresh for the club and operate within its means.

“Mike Quinn and I attended several meetings at the club along with George Rolls, Ritchie Jeune and Gary Graham as the club ‘Board’ to assist with planning of events, budgets and how the club could move forward.

“However, throughout this period we were acutely aware that the issue of the club shareholding was still to be resolved and Mike and I have never received any formal invitation to become directors of Kettering Town FC Management Ltd. “However, we remained working with George, Ritchie and Gary so we could assist the club in any way we could. We were, however, NEVER involved in the playing side of things, and have not viewed nor negotiated a single CURRENT players contract.

“Unfortunately, we were then hit with the news that George Rolls would be banned from all football activity for five years.

“This immediately changed the dynamic of how the ‘Board’ should operate but Ritchie, Gary, Mike and I continued to work as hard as we could. During this period to the best of my knowledge, there was no objection from the shareholders.

“The Trust was still managing all monies in and out of the club and paying creditors etc, so witnessed first hand the hard work and endeavours put in by Ritchie Jeune to keep the club afloat and try to create success and a sustainable future.

“Therefore the Trust would like to thank him for his efforts for Kettering Town FC and hope he remains in whatever capacity to continue assisting the club to move forward.

“With the announcement that the Trust and Ritchie are not authorised to act on behalf of the club, it would be prudent for the Trust to no longer manage club funds through its account and allow the shareholders to run the club as they see fit.

“This will re-allow the club the freedom to pay all its creditors on time and directly from the Club base and not via us as a Third Party.

“We were of course only administering these payments initially after the club account was frozen while the Winding Up Petition was in place.

“We will continue to perform all our matchday functions as before, until such time they are no longer welcomed and continue to fully support Kettering Town Football Club.

I trust that the re-intervention of the shareholders will prove to be good news for Kettering Town Football Club and that they can provide the investment that will allow our club to thrive and prosper both on and off the field.

“I would urge, that the shareholders will now hold a public meeting as soon as possible to inform the fans of the exact situation at the Football Club.”