Worksop Town’s officials have launched an emergency fundraising appeal to stop the BetVictor Northern Premier League club being closed down over outstanding debts.
The Tigers – the world’s fourth oldest football club – are asking 300 fans, local businesses and sponsors to help them raise £30,000 by the end of the month as part of a rescue deal with Peter Whitehead, the owner of the lease on their Sandy Lane home.
According to club statement released on Monday, life president Keith Ilett has asked Whitehead to take over as chairman to help secure their future and he has agreed, provided the funds are raised in time.
He has also confirmed that an official plaque with the names of those individuals and businesses who come forward to help save the club will be placed in the clubhouse should he take over.
Donors who are being asked to contribute £100 each will also receive club membership entitling them to certain benefits at the ground.
The statement read: “Worksop Town FC, the world’s fourth oldest football club, is facing potential closure due to outstanding debts.
“As a result, life president, Mr Keith Ilett, who has been actively involved with the club since 1970, has approached Mr Peter Whitehead, who owns the lease to Sandy Lane football ground, to ask if he would kindly take over the club as chairman.
“Mr Whitehead has said that he will do so, provided that the club can raise £30,000 by the end of this month to help pay off debts.
“Mr Ilett is now hoping that he can find 300 Tigers supporters, local people, local businesses, and members of the larger football family, to help finance the agreed sum by paying £100 each into a Worksop Town FC President’s Fund.”
Ilett told the club’s website: “I appreciate we have been here many times before but sadly we have now reached another crisis point in the club’s history.
“Pete Whitehead is a football man with business acumen who is committed to securing the future of the club, having already committed a substantial amount of money but he insists the £30,000 be raised towards settling outstanding monies owed by the club.
“He has already invested a huge amount of his own time over the past two months, advising us and helping us with future planning.”
He added: “Peter has given us a clear target. I urge everybody who cares for our club to do whatever they can to help us. Thank you.”
The Tigers won their first league title in 46 years last season, setting a new club record of 22 successive wins and attracted a crowd of 1,628 against Northern Counties Premier League promotion rivals, Penistone Church, to achieve promotion back to the Northern Premier League.
Make sure you get your copy of The Non-League Paper on Sunday for the latest news from across Non-League over the last seven days, together with exclusive match reports and pictures from all of Saturday’s upcoming action in the BetVictor Northern Premier League.