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Fans back Kettering Town stadium move

Mon 20th Jun 2011 | Football Stadiums & Facilities

Kettering Town’s potential move to rivals Rushden & Diamonds ground, has the backing of a majority of the club’s fans according the club’s chairman.

Imraan Ladak, chairman of Kettering Town told BBC Radio Northampton that the majority of their fans have backed a potential move to Nene Park.

The lease to Kettering’s current home ground, Rockingham Road runs out in 2013 and Ladak hosted a meeting to set out the options for the club's future.

He told BBC Radio Northampton: "I don't know whether we can agree a sustainable deal at Nene Park.

"But - overwhelmingly - we've got the mandate from the supporters to go."

Nene Park landlord Keith Cousins repossessed the ground from crisis club Rushden & Diamonds on Monday, and held a meeting with their fans which floated the idea of allowing rivals Kettering to play there.

Ladak said he remained hopeful that a deal could be reached with Rockingham Road landlord Ben Pickering.

The meeting at Wicksteed Park was attended by approximately 500 Kettering Town supporters.

"We're negotiating with Nene Park because we have to," said Ladak.

"The door remains open for our current landlord to get in touch and say he can give us a long-term lease at a sustainable level, and our supporters might change their mind at that."

On the subject of a possible name change as a result of a move, Ladak said he was not looking to switch from Kettering Town FC.

"I said that what we want is to have [attendances] above a certain level to be sustainable there. The supporters are more comfortable if it stays as Kettering Town FC so that's what we'll do - I don't want to change the name.

"Max Griggs build a wonderful stadium for the community of Northamptonshire and he wants to see football continue there. It is an astonishing facility.

"We would have to go in with a conservative budget because we don't know what the numbers [of supporters attending matches] would be.

"We're not there yet and the door is open for us to stay at Rockingham Road.

"But we've got the approval from the fans that if things stay the same there, and we find a sustainable solution at Nene Park, our supp have said 'we'll support you in big numbers.'"

Rushden & Diamonds are battling against serious financial problems and were expelled from the Football Conference last weekend.

A winding-up petition brought against Rushden was adjourned for 21 days at Northampton County Court on Monday.

"I would be much happier if Rushden & Diamonds were playing at Nene Park [and] Kettering were at Rockingham Road or another facility in Kettering, because it's a great rivalry," Ladak said.

"It's a real shame, and I'm not at all happy with what's happened to Rushden."

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