Kettering Town to drop two divisions because of £1.2m debts

Kettering Town will apply for entry to the Southern Premier League because of debts totalling £1.2m.

The crisis club will drop down two divisions following their relegation from the Blue Square Bet Premier.

New Poppies owner George Rolls told a supporters' forum on Wednesday that the club would be applying for a three-year company voluntary agreement (CVA) to settle arrears with creditors.

But he hoped the club would be breaking even by October.

Kettering would be unable to apply for entry to the Conference setup in their current financial situation and, if they are accepted into the Southern Premier League, they are likely to start the season with a 10-point penalty.

Their admission into the league would also have a knock-on affect for the distribution of teams across the third tier of non-league football.

Meanwhile, a CVA, if agreed, would allow the club and to pay creditors all or part of the money owed over a set period of time.

Kettering Supporters' Trust chairman Mark Severn told BBC Radio Northampton: "Unfortunately it appears George hasn't had many other options.

"A CVA at least gives us a fighting chance to survive in the Southern League and actually become a sustainable football club.

"The biggest disappointment is for the suppliers, who may well miss out on everything that is owed to them.

"But I know George has done an awful lot to cut down their debt in his time here."

A proportion of the £1.2m debt is made up of loans from former board members, including ex-chairman Imraan Ladak, some of which are expected to be written off.

The news brings the Poppies a step closer to being able to extend their 140-year history after a season that included fighting a winding-up petition, being docked three points and receiving a transfer embargo.