Goater’s Ilkeston at risk after relegation
The future of Shaun Goater’s Ilkeston is in doubt after the debt-ridden club were relegated from the Evo-Stik Premier Division over the weekend.
Goater, who took over as manager in February, could not save the club from relegation back to the Evo-Stik First Division, five years after gaining promotion. Now there is talk that the club face an uncertain future after it was reported that some players in their squad — which contains several Bermudians — had not been paid since Christmas.
The club had been expecting a sell-on fee after a former player, Che Adams, was sold by Sheffield United to Birmingham City. That cash was caught up in a dispute between former owners and present chairman Nigel Harrop, according to an article on the Nottingham Post website.
Players also refused to travel to Workington for a league match earlier this month, after which Harrop met them and they agreed to complete the season without pay. On Saturday, they were relegated after a 2-1 loss to Stourbridge. There is talk of a takeover at the club.
“It’s disappointing, but it has been coming, with the situation with the club,” captain Matt Baker told the Nottingham Post. “Everyone is aware of that but it’s not nice for it to happen.
“We met the chairman who said the takeover will take time and when the takeover happens you will get paid. Until then, there is no possible way of getting paid.
“Basically, if we didn’t play, the club would be in a bad position. The players didn’t want anything bad to happen to the club and in the next two weeks, we will be playing and turning up. We will see the season out.
“It has been the worst I have had down here but we are where we are. If the takeover happens, hopefully the club can start to move forward.”
The Post reported that former employee Craig Lamont is owed six months wages after handling media, driving teams to games, looking after training pitches and the boardroom.
“Going without six months’ wages was a massive hit and put me on the back foot,” Lamont, who still compiles the match programme as a volunteer, told the newspaper. “I was told everything would be sorted once the Che money came into the pipeline.
“I don’t mind who takes over, but just want someone with the club’s best interests at heart.”
Goater could not be reached yesterday.
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