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Rushden & Diamonds expelled from Football Conference following financial troubles

The Football Conference has expelled Rushden & Diamonds Football Club from the competition after the club failed to secure investment that would have eased its financial problems.

Rushden will now apply to play in the Zamaretto League with Southport avoiding relegation from the Blue Square Bet Premier as a result, though the club has confirmed it will launch an appeal.

A statement on the Football Conference website said: "Based on information provided by the club, it is clear that it has significant financial problems. Among other things, it owes several hundred thousand pounds to creditors, including substantial sums to football creditors and HM Revenue & Customs and in a few days time, faces the hearing of a winding-up petition supported by HMRC.

"The board explored matters fully with the club and its representatives in an attempt to resolve issues satisfactorily for the Football Conference and the club and to ensure payment of creditors.

"The club was given until the last possible moment to make proper arrangements to pay the most pressing of creditors, namely those supporting the winding-up petition and football creditors (understood to be approximately £350,000), but it has not done so.

"The board has no confidence in the club`s ability to pay its creditors or as to its ongoing viability or its ability to meet its obligations in the forthcoming season, and in order to preserve the integrity of the Competition, it was with regret that the Board considered it had no alternative but to expel Rushden & Diamonds FC."

A statement from Rushden chief executive officer Steve Beasant on Monday said: "We are taking legal advice and, although we have not received an official statement, members at the AGM have confirmed our expulsion from the league.

"We have 14 days to appeal and will be taking full legal advice immediately.

"Due to this devastating news and the barrage of emails and calls being received from all supporters we will be calling an open fans forum next week in order to evaluate our club’s position."

In addition to Stockport’s reprieve, Thurrock will retain its Blue Square Bet South with Bishop`s Stortford transferred from the South to North division on a geographical basis.

 

Scott Hobro

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