Ilkeston boss in limbo as takeover talks go quiet

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Ilkeston FC boss Shaun Goater admitted he had been left in limbo since the season ended after hearing no further new on a proposed takeover of the stricken club.

The club were relegated from the Evo-Stik NPL Premier Division after a torrid campaign and chairman Nigel Harrop last week said takeover talks were ‘ongoing’.

Players and staff haven’t been paid since December, with other debts also understood to be hanging over the relegated Robins.

“I seem to be in exactly the same place I was three weeks ago,” said Goater, who only took over the hot seat in February.

“This does need to get sorted in the next week or two. Once you start getting past that it becomes a bit of a joke.

“The last I heard there was a takeover going through.

“But I would have expected it to happen before the end of the season. Now you wonder when it will be and there seems to be less of a rush to do things.

“If it had been announced before the season had ended it would have been good for fans and players.

“I still assume it’s going to happen and I can only hope it’s soon.”

With current players likely to jump ship, Goater admits his hands are tied over talks with any players old and new while the takeover talks drag on.

“I have said to the players thank you for the commitment you have shown and the sacrifices you have made. I hope they can recover the money they have not yet been paid,” he said.

“You want to keep players but at the same time if other clubs are interested in them, you can’t keep them when they’ve not been paid here. If someone likes them enough to want them and he feels he is going to go somewhere elsewhere he will get paid it’s an easy decision.

“All I can tell players is thank you for what you’ve done. We appreciate it and the fans appreciate it. Now go away and have a little rest and hopefully there will be some news soon.”

On lining up new players, he said: “The first thing you will get when talking to a player is what will you be paying me for my services if I travel to play for you? But I can’t offer anything as I don’t know where I stand.

“A team needs to be sorted out. It’s not a great position, but it is what it is and I am not going to sit here complaining. I have got to make the best of it.

“We will be a little behind but sometimes that’s how it is. It’s like if you go 1-0 down in a game you still have to get on with it. Maybe this feels more like we are 2-0 down.”

Goater said he remains optimistic this is the end of a club of Ilkeston’s stature.

“We want to hopefully hit the ground running next season – if the club is still in existence,” he said.

“I have to be optimistic that we can get this across the line.

“There is a lot of history at this club. I know I am someone that has come to it late, but I’d like to think that history means something and that something will happen. It would be sad if not.

“I have to still make plans for a range of pre-season games. Outside of that, that’s about as far as I can go.”

It is believed that Ilkeston can still choose to enter administration before April 28 and have their points deducted this season rather than ahead of next.