BREAKING: Wilson to leave Ilkeston FC at the end of the season

Kevin Wilson will leave Ilkeston FC at the end of the season.
Kevin Wilson will leave Ilkeston FC at the end of the season.

Ilkeston FC have announced that manager Kevin Wilson will not have his contract renewed at the end of the current season.

Wilson signed a four-and-a-half year deal when the club was formed in 2010, having previously been manager of Ilkeston Town before its liquidation.

But with re-structuring set to take place in the coaching set-up at the New Manor Ground and with potential investors looking to come on board too, the decision has been made not to renew Wilson’s current deal, leaving the former Northern Ireland international “bitterly disappointed.”

New Ilkeston FC owner Nigel Harrop said the decision was not one that was taken lightly, but that issues surrounding finances were the main reasons for it.

He said: “It has been a difficult decision to make, but it comes down to financial reasons as we try and restructure the club as the set-up from the old regime is no longer sustainable.

“We are aiming to create a management style where there is a head coach in charge of both the first team and the youth set-up, who may also bring in other coaches to work with him, rather than the manager/coach set-up we have now.

“We have big plans for the club but financially we’re unable to continue with the managerial system we have at the moment.

“I’ve known Kevin a long time and he has been a wonderful servant to both Ilkeston Town and Ilkeston FC, so this was not a decision we took lightly at all.

“We still remain absolutely determined to get the club promoted this season.”

Wilson took over from joint-bosses Paul Hurst and Rob Scott as Ilkeston Town manager in June 2009 when the old club was promoted to the Conference North.

Following its liquidation and the formation of Ilkeston FC, Wilson then oversaw promotion in the new Robins’ first season and could be set to lead them into the play-offs in the coming weeks for a potential return back into the Conference North.

He has also overseen the club’s thriving academy and helped several players progress to the higher levels of the game.

Wilson said: “We’re four years into the five-year plan that Dave Mantle and I drew up when Ilkeston FC was launched and I cannot deny that I’m bitterly disappointed that I won’t get the chance to see that term through.

“Their idea was to discover and develop our own players, reduce the age and budget of the first-team and hopefully improve them to such an extent that some might get the chance to go higher and earn a good living from the game.

“I’m very proud of the fact that in the space of four years, no less than 30 of our Academy players have represented Ilkeston FC at first-team level and this season alone, six of them have moved up to join Football League or Conference clubs. That’s been lucrative for Ilkeston FC and brilliant for the boys.

“The new owners must do what they feel is right for the club and I’ve been involved in this business for long enough to understand that. I do need to say, though, that it isn’t the football operation that has failed.

“Lucrative pre-season games against the likes of Chelsea, Derby County, Nottingham Forest and Leicester City have been a major source of income and everyone knows the situation with the likes of Che Adams, Ashley Hunter and Aki Wright. If anything, we are ahead of schedule in terms of achieving all that we set out to do.

“I desperately want to see us win promotion 12 months ahead of where we had planned when we set up the club and I’ll move heaven and earth to achieve that.

“As for the future, I don’t know what that holds for me. But this club will always have a special place in my heart. We have an outstanding group of young players and I really want to see them and our brilliant supporters get the success they deserve.”