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.
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.
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.
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!
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.