By Sam Elliott
ILKESTON suggest their suspension from the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League is down to the fact that they’ve been set upon after it was discovered they are due around £300,000 from Che Adams’ transfer from Sheffield United to Birmingham.
The Robins can’t kick a ball until they are reinstated as league members having had their licence revoked for their failure to pay a number of creditors this summer.
Rival clubs say they are owed money and The NLP understands they are also in debt to former players as well as other ex-employees.
Despite frantic last-minute efforts to get Saturday’s home league opener with Stafford Rangers on having done their best to prove the debts would be paid, it was confirmed at 5.30pm on Friday that the suspension wouldn’t be lifted. It’s unclear if Tuesday’s visit to Whitby Town will also be postponed.
It caused chaos on the eve of the season with both sets of players and supporters not knowing if their curtain-raiser yesterday would go ahead or not until the night before.
Ilkeston are adamant that they wouldn’t have been chased for the money – and subsequently reported to the league and the Football Association – if the value of Adams’ sell on hadn’t been made public.
The striker completed a reported £1.8m move to the Championship after the 20-year-old’s two seasons in Sheffield saw his progress continue.
While refusing to confirm details, The NLP understands Ilkeston secured a 20 per cent sell-on for the player when he left for Bramall Lane in 2014.
“It is a fact that the club owes money to football creditors, namely clubs in relation to historic matters,” said chief executive Nigel Harrop.
“This has come about in view of the speculation about the club now being in receipt of a substantial funds following the sale of Che Adams from Sheffield United to Birmingham City.
“Because of this, debts are now being chased more aggressively and this has resulted in our suspension. But, providing we are able to pay clubs what they are due, it will be lifted. It was always our intention to settle the debts as soon as possible.”
He added: “It is true that the club will, at some point, receive a sell-on fee as a result of the transfer. We’re not at liberty to discuss the extent of the sum we are to receive, some of the speculation is sadly way off the mark. We will be receiving a lot less than is being mooted.”
Despite money being due, Ilkeston couldn’t convince the Evo-Stik League that their creditors could be satisfied imminently.
Northern Premier League chairman Mark Harris said the decision to suspend the club for “breaching rules and regulations” was taken to protect the interest of the game.
A league statement on Thursday added: “The club will not be able to participate in any footballing actively from this date until such time as all of the breaches have been resolved to the satisfaction of the Evo-Stik NPL.”
*This article was originally featured in The NLP on Sunday 14th August.
Tagged Ilkeston FC