‘There should be a new team at the NMG soon’

The New Manor Ground
The New Manor Ground

A decision on who will play football at Ilkeston’s New Manor Ground could be made this week - but the identity of those interested remains a mystery.

The liquidators of Ilkeston FC, Smith Parry, say they have put the case of two serious bidders to the landlords of the NMG, Erewash Borough Council, for them to decide who is best to form a new club in the town.

Details could emerge once a decision is made, and with the new football season barely a month away, the Advertiser understands the Football Association have been in contact with the interested parties with regard to a league allocation for the 2017/18 season.

The proposed new club being formed by Ilkeston FC supporters, Ilkeston United Community Football Club, is not one of those in the running to take on the NMG.

Michael Roome of Smith Parry said: “When Ilkeston FC were placed into liquidation, we were approached by an interested party who wanted to acquire the club’s assets and they put forward an extremely good offer, to the point where we didn’t feel the need to substantially market the assets as a going concern.

“For a new club to be able to form from the ashes of a liquidated club, it has to happen within 21 days of liquidation. We were appointed on the 21st day.

“The offer was accepted subject to contract but more offers have come in since then and we have made representations to the council as to those offers.

“The old club has ceased trading, and to save the club in that guise is extremely unlikely.

“However, I’d say it is extremely likely that a club will be playing at the New Manor Ground for the 2017/18 season.

“There is widespread recognition that there needs to be football played at the venue as soon as possible and therefore the council are now asssessing the options.”

Ilkeston FC owner Nigel Harrop is not believed to be involved in any discussions with Smith Parry other than as a director of the club and as a creditor.

Visit www.ilkestonadvertiser.co.uk for any further developments on this story over the coming days.

Meanwhile, the Ilkeston Football Club Supporters Group are staging special events this Saturday to coincide with the 25th anniversary of Ilkeston’s New Manor Ground.

The main event, which due to the uncertainty at the NMG will take place at Eastwood Community FC, will be an Ilkeston Legends versus Ilkeston Supporters match.

The legends team is being managed by former Ilkeston Town manager Danny Boyes and around 25 former players have already committed to take part, with the possibility of further additions to Boyes’ squad.

Kick-off is 5pm. For more details see www.ilkestonadvertiser.co.uk.