Kettering Town: Winding-up order for 141-year-old club

Kettering Town have been issued with a winding-up order and are poised to go out of business, unless they succeed with a proposed appeal.

Rushden & Diamonds Ltd, the shell company left over when the club of the same name was wound up two years ago, had taken the Poppies to court over an unpaid debt.

Kettering officials will now appeal against the High Court decision.

Quick Kettering history

Kettering Town
  • Formed in 1872, turned professional in 1891
  • Found non-league success in the 1970s under Ron Atkinson, but failed to win election to the Football League
  • In 1976 they became the first English club to display a sponsor on their shirt. The FA ordered it to be removed
  • Imraan Ladak became involved in the club in 2005, with former England midfielder Paul Gascoigne taking over as manager for just 39 days

The 141-year-old club avoided going out of business in June last year.

On that occasion the Poppies arranged a Company Voluntary Agreement to pay a portion of their debts and looked to be recovering 12 months later when former chairman Imraan Ladak sold his majority shareholding to Ritchie Jeune.

Two years ago the club were in the Conference Premier, non-league's top division, but a series of financial failures has seen them descend to the Southern League Division One Central - a drop from the fifth to the eighth tier of English football within one season.

The money owed to Rushden & Diamonds Ltd - not affiliated with the phoenix club AFC Rushden and Diamonds - is for unpaid rent at the Nene Park stadium.

The ground used to be the home of Rushden but, after their demise, was used by Kettering until they left in the autumn of last year when they could not afford to pay the electricity bill.

In a statement Kettering say  they had verbally agreed a £50,000 settlement, until Rushden & Diamonds Ltd changed their assessment of the debt to £70,000.

The Poppies will apply for a recession order in the next seven days, on the basis that the sum of the debt is in dispute, in an attempt to overturn the winding-up order.

Kettering are currently playing a few miles outside the town in Burton Latimer and Tuesday's game at Dunstable and Saturday's home match against Aylesbury United are set to go ahead.