Could Notts County’s chairman be about to revive football in Ilkeston?

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Notts County chairman Alan Hardy is believed to be spearheading an attempt to form a new football club in Ilkeston.

Following the demise of Ilkeston FC, who have now gone into liquidation, two interested parties keen on starting a new club at the New Manor Ground have had their cases put to the owner of the land, Erewash Borough Council.

And while the identities of those involved are yet to be officially revealed, a new company called Ilkeston Town FC Limited was incorporated on June 30 which lists Hardy as its sole director.

Hardy had been linked with taking over Ilkeston FC last month after publicly declaring his interest, although with the old club now having ceased trading it seems he has opted for a new guise entirely.

The name of the new club differs only slightly from that of Ilkeston Town Football Club, which was liquidated in 2010, with the ‘FC’ suffix being the only change and one which the Football Association are likely to accept giventeams rising from the ashes of former clubs cannot compete with exactly the same name.

Sources have told the Advertiser that the Football Association have been consulted with regard to allocating any new club a league for the 2017/18 season, and despite the new campaign being just weeks away, it is understood the team would be able to compete.

Earlier this week, the liquidators of Ilkeston FC, Smith Cooper, had said that they had received two good offers to take on the assets of the doomed club and would be able to reveal more once the council had evaluated each bid.

Smith Cooper’s Michael Roome 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.”