Monday morning brought the sad news that Evo-Stik Northern Premier League club Ilkeston have been wound up in the High Court.
The news came just hours after a proposed takeover of the Robins seemed to be moving closer to completion.
The club, who were only formed in 2010 after the demise of Ilkeston Town, confirmed that they would be appealing the decision.
It is understood that players and staff have not been paid since December and were wound-up over a debt of £14,438.
There was genuine hope that the club could survive, with the news that a sports management company called ‘All Eight’ were set to complete a takeover.
A statement was released on the Robins website confirming that an agreement had been reached between the club and All Eight.
It said “Chairman Nigel Harrop is pleased to confirm that he has reached an agreement in principle for the take over of Ilkeston Football Club subject to final agreement by ALL EIGHT SPORTS.
“A spokesman for ALL EIGHT gave the following statement earlier. “We are excited and looking forward to working within the local community, promoting and extending the already excellent academy facilities whilst also ensuring we maintain good relations with the fanbase which is very important to us.
“Our objective! to build a sustainable future for Ilkeston FC and we are looking forward to working with the loyal supporters and volunteers to ensure that their views are heard and taken onboard. The minute the deal is confirmed officially we will immediately be in contact with creditors, players and fan groups to discuss our proposals and to arrange a Q & A session where we will talk directly to supporters”
However, a High Court judge has ruled that the takeover has come too late in the day to help save the club from being wound up.
The 2016/17 season has been a nightmare one for the Robins, as they started the season two weeks later than the rest of the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League clubs after they were suspended by the league for a failure to provide evidence of payment to creditors.
The Robins finished the season in twenty third place, twenty points from safety.
Their relegation in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League’s second tier was confirmed with a 2-1 defeat against Stourbridge in early April, five years after former Chelsea and Northern Ireland striker Kevin Wilson had led them to promotion.
Now, unless an appeal is successful, it looks as if Ilkeston FC is no more.
Article: Mark Carruthers (@marknldaily) Image: Robbie Stephenson