Walker: I am not sure how long Poppies can go on like this

Poppies goalkeeper Laurie Walker in action during Saturday's defeat to Concord Rangers
Poppies goalkeeper Laurie Walker in action during Saturday's defeat to Concord Rangers

Laurie Walker says he doesn’t know how much longer Kettering Town can continue under the current circumstances.

The Poppies are firmly back in crisis after a controversial weekend that saw manager John Beck being escorted away from Nene Park ahead of Saturday’s 3-0 home defeat to Concord Rangers in the first qualifying round of the FA Carlsberg Trophy.

That came after rumours had surfaced about Beck’s imminent departure having seen players Ed Palmer and Ben Gerring and assistant-manager Dean Greygoose all leave the crisis-hit club during last week.

The Poppies players are yet to receive their full wages for September with their next pay day due to be on Friday.

It is believed majority shareholder and the only remaining director Imraan Ladak, who says he is in talks with two potential investors, made the call for Beck to be removed as chief scout Alan Doyle took charge of the team just two hours before kick-off at the weekend.

Goalkeeper Walker, who went through similar financial problems last season, admits the players are in the dark as much as anyone else and insists only the people at the top of the club can give the answers to the questions that are being asked as the Poppies’ existence continues to hang by a thread.

“We are all in the dark like everyone else really,” Walker said.

“We got to ground on Saturday, the manager came in and did the team and then he turned round and said he was off.

“Me and Phil Ifil took it upon ourselves to sit down with the team to go through tactics and see what we could do.

“We had a makeshift side and, in the end, it was a hectic day and a difficult day to play football.

“For me and Phil, it is the second time around and people might call us idiots but you have to try to stick it out and be as professional as you can.

“From my point of view, it is personal pride and making sure I do my job well.

“But there is only so much any one person can do. I think the lads found it too much. We got bullied off the pitch and there was no fight.

“I have no idea how long things can go on like this, that is something you need to speak to the people at the top about.

“They are the ones who hold the key to how long this can last before it really does go belly up.”

A meagre crowd of 215 was on hand for the defeat to the Ryman League Premier Division side – the sixth lowest in the club’s history since records began and the lowest-ever crowd for an FA Trophy game involving the Poppies.

The fans are voting with their feet after one of the most disastrous years in the club’s 140-year history.

And Walker, while wanting the fans to attend to help with finances more than anything, says he can understand the ill-feeling.

“From my time here last season, all the way through the problems the fans were top draw,” he added.

“You can’t do anything but have praise for the way they have dealt with everything right from seeing their club move to Nene Park, to the players not being paid, to relegation.

“They still came back but now they obviously feel they can’t carry on supporting the club.

“I would just say that we need as many fans as possible to come and help us out and keep the players on the right track.

“I know it sounds strange for me to ask fans to come back when players aren’t being paid and we are all so deflated.

“But the fans are asking questions about where their money is going and I can understand that.

“All I can say is thank you to all them and, in particular, to those who are still coming to watch us.”