Aldershot Town: Relegated club fails to pay players for April

Aldershot Town's EBB Stadium

Aldershot Town have failed to pay players their wages for April.

Directors of the club, who were relegated from League Two last weekend, held an emergency meeting on Tuesday to discuss the financial position.

And chairman Shahid Azeem told BBC Surrey that the situation would be explained to the players.

Andrew Mills, who joined the Shots as chief executive in January, resigned on Wednesday after saying he had been placed in an "untenable position".

Last week, the club's supporters called a meeting with the board of directors to discuss Aldershot's financial situation.

Azeem, who replaced Kris Machala as the club's chairman in February, said he would not allow the club to go into administration, but director Tony Knights admitted that the club had been "haemorrhaging money".

Aldershot owner and majority shareholder Machala has been in talks with Azeem over selling his stake in the club to the chairman, but was awaiting proof of funds.

"As always, I have this club at heart and every decision I make is with a view to doing the best and right thing for the club's survival," Machala said in a statement.

"We do not have any more time for talk about funding the club. Someone has to [provide] evidence that they have funds to take on the club's liabilities. That has not been done to date and therefore I have to take all necessary actions to secure the club."

Meanwhile, Mills described the situation as "ridiculous" and said he hoped it could be resolved before there was no longer a club to save.

Explaining his decision to resign, he said: "I am now being asked to make assurances and promises to players, staff and company creditors who remain unpaid that I simply have no authority to either confirm, nor have any evidence to believe.

"I remain seriously concerned about the immediate solvency of the business and recent public assurances of Mr Machala to fund the business through the transition period without any evidence of the ability to do so."

The club confirmed following the board meeting on Tuesday evening that they were seeking restructuring advice.

"We understand the concern that has emanated from what has been an uncertain period for the football club and for the importance of a conclusion to the situation soon," said a statement.

"The board remains committed to securing the long-term future of Aldershot Town Football Club."

However, Aldershot captain Ben Herd said some players would suffer hardship because of the non-payment of wages.

"We are not in the upper echelons of the Football League or in the Premier League where people have vast amounts of money," Herd told BBC Surrey.

"This is our job. We understand that on the pitch we haven't been good enough, but off the pitch, this is food-on-our-table money.

"Some of the younger lads will struggle. I was due to go out with one of the lads for something to eat, but he said he can't go out because he hasn't been paid.

"It is a bad situation to be in as a player. As a football club they have been here once before and hopefully it doesn't go back to the year of 1992 [when the old Aldershot FC was wound up]," Herd added.

"It is a dark time and I hope it can be resolved."

The Hampshire club were relegated from the Football League last Saturday following their 2-0 defeat at Rotherham.

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