With the future of Eastwood Town FC now firmly under threat, attention has already begun turning to what might happen in the future should the Badgers cease to exist in their current form.
Coronation Park is padlocked and the lease on the ground has been terminated by Broxtowe Borough Council, meaning the chance of the current incarnation of Eastwood Town FC ever playing at the venue again is now extremely remote.
Even the potential for the home games to be played at a neutral venue would require agreement from the Evo-Stik League.
As the Advertiser went to press on Thursday morning, there had been no official confirmation of the club having folded, though that possibility must be firmly on the cards given the scale of the debts that are believed to hang over it.
Meanwhile, a statement from the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League, issued on Thursday morning, confirmed Saturday’s match with Kidsgrove Athletic had been postponed.
It read: “An e-mail received yesterday evening (Wed) from the secretary of Eastwood Town Football Club advised the Northern Premier League that the club would not be able to meet current fixture obligations due to a notice being served by Broxtowe Borough Council prohibiting entry to the Coronation Park ground.
“The full content of the correspondence plus any additional information received from the club will be considered at a league board meeting this coming Sunday 26th January.
“The Eastwood Town v Kidsgrove Athletic First Division South League fixture scheduled for Saturday 25th January is postponed.
“The Northern Premier League will not be making any further statement with regards to Eastwood Town FC until after Sunday’s meeting.”
The Badgers are currently well adrift at the bottom of Evo-Stik Division One South, 15 points from safety.
Current first team manager Paul MacFarland told the Advertiser on Wednesday that he was in the dark as to the current events, saying: “I know very little at the moment except that Saturday’s game will almost certainly be postponed and I’ve had to inform the players as such.”
So what is likely to happen next should Eastwood Town FC fold in due course?
Leader of Broxtowe Borough Council, Cllr Milan Radulovic, says he is keen not only for the Coronation Park facility vacated by Eastwood Town to be used as a community sporting venue, but also that a new football club can rise from the ashes to replace the current one should its liquidation be confirmed.
Speaking to the Advertiser on Wednesday, Cllr Radulovic said: “In the short-term, the Notts FA are still hoping to use the ground for various events this season, and I gather one or two cup finals are scheduled to take place on the pitch in the next few months.
“We are also very keen to see the ground remain open for functions and whatever other use necessary.
“Longer term, I’d like to see a new club rise from the ashes, and I want it to be one that is not only a big asset to the community, but one which is largely run by it.
“I want to be able to set up a football trust, where we can raise the capital to start a new club as a limited company with a number of people putting in small contributions.
“I want to see ownership of the club go back to the people and the supporters, and fans I’ve already spoken to about this are in agreement.
“In line with that, the ground will be run as a community facility and football ground. That’s my sole intention as leader of the council.
“I’ll support it in any way I can - I’ll even help to write the constitution if required.”
Cllr Radulovic also praised the support received from the Nottinghamshire FA regarding recent events.
He added: “The Notts FA have been excellent and supported us in our decision to terminate the lease. They also want what is best for the future.
“My intention now is to float the idea of a potential limited company run by local fans who put money in and continue to have say in running the club.
“I’d be very interested to see what people’s responses are to this idea and would welcome any input.
“And after the way things have gone wrong over the last few years, it’s vital that the way the club is run is clear and transparent so that everyone can be safe in the knowledge that its future is secure.”
For the latest on the situation at Eastwood Town as it unfolds, see www.eastwoodadvertiser.co.uk.
By Mark Duffy (Twitter - @DuffersSport)