Duffers’ Diaries: Speculation remains rife at Ilkeston FC

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Each time I sit down to write this column I’m finding it harder not to repeat things I’ve said in previous weeks.

As Robins fan John Shiels noted in our brief chat after the Mickleover game on Monday, it seems like the content is similar each week but put a different way!

I guess that’s accurate, although I’m trying to drip feed what info I do know about any Ilkeston takeover whenever I find out, not that it’s happening too often.

On the pitch, nothing much changes as Ilkeston’s young players crawl towards the end of a campaign I don’t think any of us can wait much longer for.

Off the pitch, we’re all crying out for more information as to what is happening with regard to any takeover, with the club’s future seemingly dependant on it.

I’ve tried this week to get more details from owner Nigel Harrop but hard facts are even harder to come by.

He’s told me that there are interested parties and that the potential for an exciting future is there, but it means nothing unless a deal is done.

Quite what it will take to make that happen is hard to tell. Clearly, debts are mounting and whoever takes the club on will take those on too - and potentially more if they emerge from the woodwork.

Whatever the reasons for any delays, they have to be addressed quickly because despite Harrop assuring me in the past that the club’s future isn’t in any danger, I fail to see how the alarm bells shouldn’t be ringing given the potential future if he remains owner.

That’s not necessarily a direct attack on Harrop, merely a reference to the fact that the current situation the club is in can’t be allowed to continue and Harrop, by his own admission, isn’t able to remedy it himself.

As I understand it, Ilkeston can still choose to enter administration before April 28 and have their points deducted this season rather than ahead of next. That could be a possible option available and make them a whole lot more attractive to potential buyers.

Other than that, all I am assured of at the moment is that there ARE offers on the table for the club, all with differing scenarios in terms of what they would ultimately have in store for Ilkeston FC.

Like everyone else, I can only really speculate on what kind of plans prospective buyers might have for the Robins.

There is such huge potential in a town the size of Ilkeston to do wonders with a football team if it’s all done properly, so if anyone with some major ambition - and cash - takes it on as a long-term project, then things could be really interesting as long as all the debts can be cleared.

If the plan of any new owner is to keep things steady and not aim too high, too soon, then that will also be welcomed by the fans, I’m sure.

Any attempts to continue the academy ethos shouldn’t necessarily be scoffed at - it’s been shown before it can work as long as the first team doesn’t suffer as a result, which is key. Running a successful academy alongside the first team can work well, and although I believe the first team should be the main priority at every club, anyone out there who can make a success of both will be applauded.

But as I write this, we know no more, so the wait shall go on a little longer.