Ilkeston chairman believes takeover can prevent Northern League club from folding

Ilkeston ground
Ilkeston fans are hoping to set up a new club to play at the existing New Manor Ground.

Ilkeston chairman Nigel Harrop insists a pending takeover could yet save the Northern League club from liquidation.

Harrop plans to appeal against a High Court winding-up order, issued on Monday, to push ahead with a deal with All Eight Sports Management.

"If this is enforced and A8 pull out, creditors stand no chance of getting their money," he told BBC Radio Derby.

However, Ilkeston FC Supporters Group has indicated it will try to set up a new club.

An hour before the hearing at the High Court in Liverpool began, Harrop announced an "agreement in principle" had been reached with All Eight Sports Management.

However, his plea for more time to settle a £14,438 debt owed to an office equipment hire firm was rejected by the court.

"Should this [the takeover] go through, all the creditors will get sorted out," Harrop said after the ruling.

"I tried to make the judge see that but the barrister from the other side argued that if a judgement wasn't made, it wouldn't get sorted out.

"I think it's a case of the proposed new owners of the club making some representation to the other side's lawyers."

Future is bright, says fans' group

Harrop, who bought the Robins in March 2015, believes the current club can avoid a similar fate to predecessors Ilkeston Town, who were liquidated in 2010.

"The new owners have realised the creditors out there need to be satisfied and that actually is the cost of the club to them," he added.

"They clearly stated that as soon as they take over they will meet the existing creditors and come to an arrangement with them."

Duncan Payne, chairman of the Ilkeston FC Supporters Group, told BBC Radio Derby they would discuss taking over the lease of the New Manor Ground.

He said: "We believe passionately that, given what has happened twice in the past seven years, the football club is best left in the hands of people who really care about Ilkeston, the community and its football.

"Any town of this size, with the supporter base that we've got and the facilities the New Manor Ground has, is going to attract a lot of interest.

"The future is, in my opinion, going to be bright."

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