Head coach Paul Holland has admitted he has been frustrated by the delay to the start of Ilkeston FC’s season - but says he and his players are raring to go once the club gets the green light to commence their campaign.
The Robins had their licence suspended by the Northern Premier League last week due to what league officials cited as a ‘breach in rules and regulations’, meaning the opening day game against Stafford Rangers and the trip to Whitby Town on Tuesday night were both postponed.
The exact details of the suspension and the reason for it have been largely witheld by the club for legal reasons, but Holland says he has had assurances the outstanding issues will be resolved before the weekend.
He said: “It’s not been easy but the lads have been training hard and we are all ready to go as soon as we are able to.
“I’ve spoken to the chairman and have had assurances that the suspension will be lifted before the trip to Stourbridge on Saturday, so the players and I have been preparing for that match accordingly.
“I’ve been around football long enough to know that these kinds of things can happen and hopefully it’ll all be sorted out in due course.”
Issues surrounding the transfer deal that took former Robins midfielder Che Adams from Sheffield United to Birmingham City are believed to be the main cause of the complications which have led to Ilkeston’s suspension, and more specifically the money which is due to be paid to the club thanks to a sell-on clause in Adams’ contract.
Ilkeston FC released a statement on Friday claiming that those issues will be resolved once the money from the transfer deal is received, with the club explaining that various creditors will be paid in full.
The Advertiser understands that any outstanding debts are not the primary reason for the club being suspended from playing, and that it is a legal issue with Adams’ contract which has instead caused the disruption.
The Robins were unable to comment further for legal reasons.
Should the suspension be lifted before the weekend, Ilkeston will visit Stourbridge on Saturday for their first game of the season.
Stourbridge came close to securing a play-off spot last season before falling out of the top five in the final week of the campaign, and have lost both of their opening fixtures so far including a last-minute defeat at home to Hednesford Town on Monday night.
Following that match, Ilkeston’s opening home game of the season is scheduled to be next Tuesday night with newly-promoted Spennymoor Town paying their first ever visit to the New Manor Ground for a 7.45pm kick-off.