Tuesday, 28 February 2012

"I'm not another Mark English..."

So spoke our "Chairman" Imraan Ladak.  And he's right.  English was a small-time chancer, just looking to fill his pockets at our expense.  A few months and we'd flushed him out of our system.

That's not enough for Imraan.
"Not my fault, guv!"
Imraan has pissed away our future by hustling us with indecent haste down to Non Park, and banking on several thousand people suddenly appearing out of the woodwork to fund the ridiculous bills he and Maison (remember him?) were running up.

He gambled, and we lost.  And his addiction to the drug of gambling is in all likelihood going to cost us our club.

Still, while real supporters are trying their damndest to dig us out of the shit he has landed us in, Imraan can still pretend to be involved in football.  Hopefully in future his only connection with the game will be as a season ticket holder at White Hart Lane.


How can he sleep at night?  Imraan Ladak - a man without shame.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Public Service Blogging

In an attempt to ensure everyone is up to date with a thoroughly accurate assessment of the Poppies, we will endeavour to fulfil the "public service" part of our mandate.

As of 25 February 2012 we can confirm that THIS IS THE SITUATION -

  • Imraan may or may not still be involved in the club.
  • George Rolls may or may not be getting involved in the club.
  • If GR gets involved he may or may not plunge us into a company voluntary arrangement.
  • Next season, if we still exist we may be playing in one of the following leagues - Bet Square Premier / BS North / BS South / Southern League / UCL / kick around down the park.
  • Also, if GR gets involved me may offer the Trust a 25% stake in the Poppies.
  • The players may or may not have been paid.
  • Our forthcoming home game with Telford may or may not happen, and we may or may not be allowed in to watch it.
  • Ollie Burgess may or may not have left the club.
That is all.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

PATGOD caption competition cancelled

We sensed we'd made a bit of a mistake with our last caption competition when every entry for the above picture mentioned the names Ladak, Rolls, Cousins and Hill and the words "Carcass", "Poppies", and "Picking over".

Here's hoping this week's Caption Competition fares better!

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Don't do the crime......

So, Leon has just been banged up within a cramped prison full of seething perverts, aggressive queens, and other assorted, drooling narks and nonces.  This fit, virile, attractive young sportsman, in the prime of life, will soon be locked away with these characters for six long months.

The current Poppynet banner could be read in a different way now....

Sunday, 19 February 2012

A Friend Indeed

In our time of crisis there have been some tremendous gestures of support from the wider football community. First the Wrexham fans with their bucket collection then Coventry providing opposition for a friendly fund raiser. And by no means least, George Rolls has cleared up all those silly rumours about him being involved in a takeover by explaining the repeated sightings of him at Nene Park. Turns out he is just there to give advice! And who better to help steer us through the choppy waters of massive debt, baying creditors and impending administration than a man who can boast such an impressive track record at Weymouth.

We’re lucky indeed to be able to count on friends such as 'Saint' George, and even more fortunate when you consider that Imraan only contacted him in the first place because of all those silly rumours! We know this because Imraan said so in his interview on the BBC Non League Show, thus dispelling any doubt.

Happily, George can drop in at Nene Park quite easily en route from Cambridge to Weymouth, where it seems he is set to resume the role of chairman after a gap in which fans were assured he had no influence over affairs. None whatsoever. Just ask Mrs Rolls (the majority shareholder). So we had better make the most of this unexpected act of charity and learn all we can.

And in case George’s other commitments on the south coast prevent him from offering any further assistance, is it too soon to put out an SOS call to the Rangers chairman?

"Listen, Imraan, any time."

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Commercial Corner

The Poppies Club Shop is pleased to announce its new range of merchandise.

Hurry while stocks last!

Poppy shovel - £10, ideal for clearing snow and digging holes to a depth of 6 feet.

Car stickers - £2, “I’m following Kettering into the (United Counties Premier) League!”
“Honk if you haven’t been paid!”

KTFC candles - £1, perfect for all kinds of prayers, and also emergency lighting if the electricity gets cut off.

Club greetings cards - £1.50, for that special message.

Official Kettering Town worry beads - £5, a proven remedy at times of great stress and uncertainty.

Buy a squad number – only £29.99. NB please supply own kit. And boots.

Designer ‘IL’ inflammable underwear - just £9.99.

Club chairman toy doll - FREE (unlimited pins also supplied)

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Last Throw?

If you haven't already emailed DRC Locums please take a couple of minutes out of your day today to do so.  And if you have several accounts, why not use all of them?

This is a copy of what we have sent from Patgod's email address.  If you can't decide on your own wording please feel free to borrow bits or all of this!

What have we got to lose?


Whilst I assume that the person that reads this will have no real say, I pray that DRC Locums decides to honour it's debts to Kettering Town Football Club, to allow us to survive.

I appreciate us having Ladak here does not necessarily endear us to your company, but the fate of our club will impact on thousands of people who are not part of the problem between you and our chairman.

If you wish to honour your debt, but do not want to deal directly with Ladak, please consider paying the owed money to our Supporter Trust?

Please don't let my football club die!

Thank you."

Friday, 10 February 2012

More from the "Voice of Reason"

I thought I’d try and explain my “world view” of the future for the Poppies as some people seem to think that, by not putting any money into the club, Trust, etc while Silvio is around, is not supporting our future. I thought it best by drawing a graph!

Although in the short term putting money in may support the club, it really only props up Silvio and delays the inevitable. The continuous merry-go-round of owners also leads to long term decline (assuming we don’t get some mega-rich millionaire). In my mind, the only realistic sustainable future is to be fans-owned, that way we can build things by all pulling together.

So, as promised, the graph. The blue line shows what will happen if Silvio stays – terminal decline. The red line shows the merry-go-round of owners with each cycle leading to an ever poorer future with the same end result as with Silvio. But if the fans take over, yes there’ll be an immediate drop but steadily, over the longer term, our fortunes will be the best.

So I won’t be giving any money until Silvio has gone!

Pedro, telling it in pictures.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Thank God for the Plod

I think NWA said it best.....


Because, this is exactly what they've done to us.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Nothing new under the sun

Just in case you're worried that with all our po-faced pontificating we'd forgot the funny, we thought it best to give the attached document an airing.  It looks like neither Imraan nor the Trust were first on the "Red Card" bandwagon.

No, that honour looks like it has to go to Poppies supporters from the late 19th Century, when it looked like their Club was about to be sold down the river......

Poppies fans? The Titanic is now boarding.

Darlington responded to the prospect of going bust by quadrupling their home attendances.

Even the Direones have managed to form a new club from the scummy ashes and have a real chance of carving a future.

How are we Poppies fans responding to our own imminent demise?  Is there a concerted effort to pull together to raise funds to help our immediate survival?  Are we dragging more people along to the games?  Are we all joining the Trust in order to provide a united front to face up to the problems the club faces, or any possible future owners.

We are perilously close to seeing our club go out of business, but you'd be forgiven for thinking so by looking over our supporter forum.

Weed out threads where posters are moaning that any monies supporters raise will simply prop Imraan up for a bit longer.   Ignore threads which shockingly blast the Trust committee for even considering working alongside Imraan to save our club.  Skip threads where former supporters talk vaguely about "Kettering 1872", as though a new club will magically happen simply because they mention it.  Boggle about threads where supporters don't want George Rolls, or Imraan, or the Trust running the club, but seemingly imagine that dozens of multi-millionaires are knocking on the door, desperate to spend their entire fortunes on buying success for the Poppies.  Root out threads about a bloody silly name game.  What do you have left?

Unfortunately very little.

The problem with most Poppies fans is that we have an unshakable belief that everything will turn our for the best, because things always have in the past.  Unfortunately this is shockingly dangerous complacency these days.

The situation is simple.

  • Imraan can't or won't pay wages or taxes, and possibly other costs.
  • A takeover may or may not happen.  Even if it does, does anyone believe that a prospective owner will happily stick his hand in his pocket when the supporters won't, even for a club they profess to love?
  • A potential management structure including owners and supporters is a fall back position.
  • The club generates insufficient income to pay it's bills.
What should we do?

Firstly, stop worrying that giving money to the Trust is propping up Imraan.  None of us like what he has done, but whether we like it or not, he is here.  Nothing beyond a buy-out is going to change that.  So, we either accept this and try to save Kettering Town FC, or we let the club flounder and comfort ourselves that even though the Poppies cease to exist, we didn't give Imraan any more of our money.  Will the smug superiority of sticking to this principle be any comfort when the fixtures come our for next season, and our team is no longer there?

With Tuesday's game called off, and Saturday almost certain to go the same way, it is vital that the fans act NOW.  If at all possible, contribute £10, or £20 to the Trust's Save the Poppies Campaign.  Set yourself the plan to say, chuck a tenner into the Paypal Account every home game and perhaps a fiver every away game. 

It's money at a time when everyone's feeling the pinch.  But do we want to save a few bob now and spend the rest of our lives regretting it, or have to explain to the next generation of kids from Kettering why they haven't got a football club.  It really could be the difference between life and death for the Poppies.

140 years of history is a great achievement of generations of our forebears who struggled and sacrificed so that we have a club today.  Let's not allow pride, bitterness and division to turn a club with a proud history into a club that IS history.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

At least I know where the Kimberley Suite is now!

Bumped into a friend on the winding marble stairway leading up to the Kimberley Suite last night.  "Looks like something out of the Titanic, doesn't it?"  he said.  We both chuckled grimly at the double meaning of his comment.

The room itself was full to bursting point with the good, the worthy and the Poppynetters! The top table of Ken, Lee and Sev spoke well, spoke the truth and spoke as clearly as they could.

Imraan Ladak

As we all really suspect, Imraan has always been more "mad" than "bad".  His enormous lack of common sense, business acumen, and addiction to gambling have led us to where we are now. He's not fleecing the club for money - we don't generate any!  Even his most ardent detractor surely can't still believe that he is syphoning funds out of the club for his own benefit.  In many ways though, his shocking naivety is more damning of him than if he was just a simple crook such as Mark English. 

His rush to Non Park has so hurried he didn't check beyond the shiny surface of the facility.  It's all well and good having a chandelier in the reception area, but ensuring we could generate heat in half the facility might have been a good use of his time....

The Mystery Possible Buyer

Although no name was mentioned it appears a sizable number of supporters are expecting Saint GEORGE to appear on the scene and put everything right once he ROLLS into town.  It is worrying the number of people who are offer up such child-like optimism of anyone who has a few grand to their name and may be willing to personally fund our club for us.  Until they stop shelling out of course, and then the same people will want to run them out of town.

The Famous Five

If the above takeover fails to materialise it would appear that a "Gang of Five" comprising Ken, Sev, Lee, Imraan and er, either Ant or Dec will form a new management committee to hopefully see us through this season.  If this succeeds we will be able to reconstitute next season, and set sensible budgets, prices etc. and try to re-engage with the wider community and businesses.

The Trust

If anyone still hasn't joined the Trust, they really should without delay.  A united, representative supporter organisation can only help the Poppies, no matter how the future unfolds.  We supporters need to get a big wedge together, and quickly, and the Trust is really the only organisation who can mobilise bodies and plans to try to help do this.

The Trust's paying of monies our Club owed to Southend Manor made me feel proud, and slightly humbled of an organisation simply made up of ordinary, fellow supporters who give more back to their club than the rest of us.

The Police

Still operating what is effectively a protection racket, deciding on a whim at which points in the season they fancy earning a few bob (well,17K!) out of the Poppies.  "Operation Lincoln Overkill" being their latest "Get rich quick" scheme!


Well, it would appear that they DO owe us some money.  £198,000 for agreed sponsorship prior to the cancellation of the agreement.  It was suggested that a concerted email/telephone/letter (remember them?) campaign against them might encourage them to do the decent as well as the legal thing.  Anything is worth a punt, but best keep it polite: -

DRC Locums Limited, Partis House, Davy Avenue, Knowlhill, Milton Keynes, MK5 8HJ


01908 545 999
What I found funny is the fact Imraan has repeatedly indicated that DRC are notoriously poor or slow payers!  Sorry, Imraan, but are we talking about the DRC THAT YOU USED TO RUN?  Of course they were bad payers you schmuck, you were in charge!
Us lot 
Overall the feeling in the room was that we want rid of Imraan, with a preferred outcome that another benevolent dictator take over who has deeper pockets, but hopefully working alongside the Trust.  It just sticks in my craw that we need to offer up our club to another dodgy geezer in order to remain at this level.
I was impressed with the number of younger supporters in attendance, and who spoke with passion and sense.  Of course, the usual talking heads had their say too, but you can't have everything.  I must say, I found myself needing to bite my lips shut when the woman who spoke at length at Wicksteed Park about wanting to see us in the Football League, and that Non Park would practically guarantee this, grabbed the microphone.  In my warped mind she, and the old bloke who stood up at Wickies, announced his 400 years of support, and that he would follow the Poppies anywhere, were entirely responsible for us squatting on the edge of the River Nene today!
Unfortunately our supporter forum is still as riddled with negativity, axe-grinding and aggression as usual.  Indeed, it would appear that the Gob has finally exploded due to his unsustainable bile and rage aimed at Imraan!  The fury that seemingly began the very moment he wasn't comfortably ensconced within Imraan's inner circle....
By distilling all the posts I have worked out the perfect scenario which would keep everyone on Poppynet happy: -
  • Someone to give us Non Park, dismantle it and move it to Kettering
  • Someone to give us large piece of land in Kettering to put Non Park on
  • Some very rich people to come along and fund everything
  • Admittance to games to be free
  • Team to feature Brett and Ollie Burgess (who apparently has left....)
  • All games to be won
  • Imraan Ladak to be executed in the centre of the pitch at half time of the first game at New Rockingham Road.  We certainly have a few volunteers for the job. Most even have their own axes.
I think we were all shocked by just how much money is involved with the running of KTFC Mk 2 at Non Park.  Monthly rent 12K.  Monthly wage bill 32K!  Repairs to boilers £100 Billion!
Where do we go from here?
The immediate need is for money.  We've bills coming up.  Whether we like it or not, Imraan isn't going to be paying them.  This leaves us with a stark choice.  Close our eyes and hope something will turn up, or try to do something about it ourselves.  Don't wait until Imraan has gone before helping out, as we could be history by then.
Chuck a fiver or tenner in the buckets outside the ground. Offer your time or assistance if you can.  If finances permit, make a donation to the Trust's "Save the Poppies Fund at -
Lloyds TSB, Kettering
A/C No. 07107391
Sort Code 30-94-68

Paypal A/C: savektfc@poppiestrust.co.uk
If half of us toss a tenner into the collection buckets next week the Trust has a further 10K to put towards saving the Poppies.  500 new Trust members would generate another three and a half grand.  Our Club is on the brink.  Let's not just sit around and simply hope everything will somehow work out.  Without our help it won't.
"You are my Kettering, my only Kettering
You make me happy when skies are grey
You'll never know, how much I love you
So please don't take my Kettering away"
We've all sung these words a hundred times, watching our team play home and away in some real shiteholes, and in some of the largest grounds in the country.  No one outside of the KTFC can understand the highs and lows of being a Poppy. By our actions in the coming weeks and months we'll find out if those are just words, or whether we really mean them.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Poppies at the creaking gates of dawn?

And so it seems, from advance leaks, that Friday’s meeting will be nothing less than the final rattle of the bucket before we go under. It is being suggested that £35-40,000 must be raised or pledged before Monday’s showdown with HMRC. On a hardcore home support of a thousand,that’s about £40 each. But excluding juniors and the unwaged, and those who object on moral or religious or pure distrust of Ladak grounds, call it £400!

To raise even half, in a few days, from a standing start, would be an achievement. Realistically, it will take some wealthy benefactors to come to our aid. If they exist, where have they been hiding all these years?

And of course the sum quoted is just the immediate, urgent debt. Beyond that lies ongoing players wages, stadium running costs, coach transport, stewards, programmes and all the other things that go with the territory. In a recession, with our support and wider goodwill eroded by the displacement of the club outside the borough, it can’t be sustained by fan fundraising – so yet again we are reliant on someone or some people ploughing money in.

Ultimately any football club at our level, without huge swathes of private cash or TV or sponsorship money (as if!) should be self sufficient. But our record wasn't exactly unblemished long before the move to Legoland.

The last time we were in the last chance saloon, the Trust salvaged the club from the debris of Mark English, who took control from Jim Lynch, who inherited a huge tax liability from Cyril Gingell, who was party to the sale of the ground in 1985 to Ben Pickering, which apparently saved Kettering Town (1982) Ltd from oblivion.

Kettering Town (1982) Ltd was formed out of a previous crisis, again with its roots in debts created by premises we couldn’t afford - then, if memory serves me right, the indoor bowling green, built by John Nash, the chairman of Kettering Town (1950) Ltd. And Kettering Town (1950) Ltd was formed from the wreckage of the previous incarnation, and so it goes on...

And so, maybe, it always will. There are probably many who would say the sooner the club is put out of its misery the better. Every ET piece on our problems has a footnote of comments to that effect. But many of the same people would be quick to jump on the bandwagon of a revived club again enjoying success. As unlikely as it may seem right now, as long as there's a breath of life in the old girl we have to keep it alive. The club has flirted with disaster so many times in its history but has always pulled through. Yes, creaking gates and all that. In a decade's time, if KTFC survives, it will have lasted for 150 years. Meanwhile, who knows where we’ll be this time next week. All we can do is keep believing, and an open mind.