Saturday 18th June 2005

Mark Jenner, the chief executive of Ryman League Division One Ashford Town Football Club has tonight issued the following statement to www.kentishfootball.co.uk

Whilst Tim Thorogood is away we are currently working with Ashford Holdings, the landlord, to seek a solution to the current difficulties at the club to try and ensure that football returns to the Homelands in time for the coming season. Despite reports elsewhere the club does not need rescuing although as with all football clubs it could do with more money and resources.
The facts regarding the rent are as follows:
The annual rent of £2500 is due on 1st August each year payable to a nominated bank of the landlord.  During the last three years the landlord company Ashford Holdings Limited has been struck off the Register and shown as dissolved, being only reinstated earlier this year.  No bank had been nominated and in any event a dissolved company is unlikely to have a bank account.  This is the reason for non payment not that the club did not have the resources.  The first rent formal demand for the arrears of rent was received by the club only three weeks ago.  The demand was not as stated in the lease and therefore a query was raised with the landlord.  No more was heard by me at the club until Wednesday when bailiffs arrived.
The clubs outstanding bill with the Inland Revenue is of the order of £12,000 which we would normally expect to pay off during the close season, a similar amount was owing last year and was subsequently paid down. There are the usual number of bills to pay in the intray but none of any significance and the total excluding the Greene King trade account is around £10,000.  The amount owed to Greene King is approximately the same as the value of the stock in the cellar and rotates on a six weekly basis.  These amounts should be considered in comparison to our annual turnover of around £300k.
Our accounting function at the club is carried out offsite by a retired former Chief Superintendent of the Metropolitan Police on a voluntary basis and therefore I am satisfied that no financial improprietary of any kind occurs at the club. The only interest the police have shown has been earlier today when a number of Oriental guards placed at the club by the landlord were arrested for theft of our property and since they were apparently unable to speak any English were also detained for immigration enquiries.
My family and friends are devastated by current events as we have all devoted a great deal of time effort and money into keeping the club viable and to improve standards at the ground. Our only interest has been to make a club we can be proud of.  I will work as hard as I can to resolve the issues as soon as possible so that the club can move on with or without me.
Mark Jenner