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Conference side may struggle to field a full team

Football News 24/7
Kettering Town manager Mark Stimson will field a threadbare side to host Darlington on Tuesday night as he struggles to cope with the ever-diminishing playing squad at Nene Park. Following on from last weeks departure of Adam Cunnington, Moses Ashikodi, Marcus Kelly, Aman Verma and Jean-Paul Marna to other clubs, Nathan Koo-Boothe and Ellis Deeney are the latest to leave the Poppies and Steven O’Leary is injured.

According to local reports, the players still haven’t received their wages and Stimson stated that there could be more departures before Saturday’s FA Trophy trip to Gateshead as non-contract players Hughes-Mason and Moses Swaibu could possibly go.

The dilemma follows on from the imposition of a transfer embargo beacuse of the non payment of wages being against Conference rules. The embargo, which came into effect last Monday, now means that MK Dons striker Charlie Collins and Peterborough pair Peter Grant and Michael Richens will not join the club as expected.

The Poppies were hammered 7-0 at York at the weekend when they could only field two substitutes from a threadbare squad.

Town chairman Imraan Ladak said only a fortnight ago that he will consider offers to sell the football club and has stated the club’s finances are in a “serious situation”. Ladak clarified by saying, “We have never officially said the club is up for sale. We have just said that if there is a party that can come in and do more then we would talk to them.”

Ladak went on to say “It has now got to the point where I am not willing to supplement the players’ wages for what they give us. There is sponsorship money that I know is owed. If enough players go and we get the money then we will be OK. The club is not finished or anything like that. But it is in a serious situation.”

Ladak, who took over in a blaze of publicity back in 2005, denies that he is quitting the club. “It’s not the right thing to do,” he said. “There is a moral responsibility that comes with being in a certain position. “Every single person I know has been telling me to walk away for years. I don’t get any pleasure out of it any more and haven’t for some time. I stayed because I wanted to find a solution to the stadium problem.”

When the club moved to the Nene Park ground after the demise of Rushden & Diamonds, it appeared that a turn around in fortunes would finally see Kettering’s future on a more secure footing. However, the on-field fortunes have not been improved with the club currently lying in 17th position, attendances hardly blossomed and an early Cup exit meant more lost revenue for the financially struggling club.

JB

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