Ilkeston Town boss Fowler awaits green light to make signings

Lee Fowler is keen to get building his squad for next season.
Lee Fowler is keen to get building his squad for next season.

Ilkeston Town boss Lee Fowler says he is still awaiting confirmation of the club’s wage budget before he can commit to making any more new signings.

Fowler had initially been told by Robins owner Alan Hardy that the playing budget would remain unchanged from last season, but the Advertiser understands there are still question marks over just how much cash Fowler will have available.

And with several players yet to commit to the club for next season, the Town boss says he’s hopeful things will be clarified soon.

He said: “I’ve not had the chance to talk to Alan as yet but things have been very difficult for him what with the Notts County situation and that’s taken up most of his time.

“But at the moment it’s hard to bring players in because we can’t tell them what kind of money they can earn until I’ve had it confirmed.

“We’ve spoken to a few but obviously while we can’t do anything, they could go elsewhere.”

Of last season’s squad, only Liam Mitchell, Reco Fyfe and Jamie Walker are on contract and likely to stay with the club. Striker Elliott Reeves is also contracted but is due to leave having been transfer listed.

Defender Dion Meikle, meanwhile, is believed to have agreed terms to sign a new deal with Ilkeston.

The Robins’ chief operating officer, Anthony Redwood, has confirmed he has now left the club after serving under Hardy for two years, with a replacement likely to be named in due course.

Fowler added: “As things stand we’re not sure what revenue we may get from the cup competitions as we don’t yet know if we’ll be in the FA Cup, nor of course can we predict how many fans will be coming through the gate.

“But I’m hopeful we’ll still have a competitive budget so we can achieve our aims.”

Meanwhile, further games have been added to Ilkeston’s pre-season schedule, including a trip to former boss Steve Chettle’s new club, Basford United.

The full list currently reads: Tuesday, July 2: Eastwood CFC (A) - 7.30pm; Saturday, July 6: Airbus UK Broughton (A)- 2.30pm; Tuesday, July 9: Pinxton (A) - 7.30pm; Saturday, July 13: Notts County (H) - 3pm; Saturday, July 20: Solihull Moors (H) - 1pm; Tuesday, July 23: AFC Telford United (H) - 7pm; Saturday, July 27: Basford United (A) - 3pm: Saturday, August 3: Grantham Town (A) - 3pm.

One further friendly is still expected to be announced in due course, with the new Evo-Stik NPL North East season starting on Saturday, August 17.