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MICK KEMP, the man leading the bid to keep Dover Athletic afloat, believes that his consortium are close to taking control at Crabble. The Dover based businessman, who runs a plumbing and building company, has been involved in a series of meetings over the past week trying to win agreement for his rescue plan, which has the backing of the Dover Athletic Supporters Trust.
Kemp said: would say that our chances of success have risen from 70 30 in favour to 80 20. I had a meeting with the majority shareholders, John and Alan Husk, last week and that went very well, and they have given us their approval to form a new board. Kemp has been effectively running the club since the resignation of the former three man board of Jim Pellatt, Jim Gleeson and Roger Knight a fortnight ago. He revealed last week that the club has debts far in excess of the 120,000 which had been indicated previously,
but Kemp was in optimistic mood this week.
He said: think we are close to getting a result, hopefully by the end of this week, and considering that we have been trying to cram two months work into three weeks that not bad. Kemp has made offers to the club creditors but his main focus in the last few days has been on trying to reach final agreement over the size of the new board.
Under the consortium five year business plan it was envisaged that the main board would have four members, one of whom would come from the Supporters Trust. But Kemp said they were meeting to discuss whether the main board should be larger. He also revealed that Simon Harris, the Supporters Trust chairman, would not be able to serve on the board because of work commitments, and that his place would be taken by John Farringdon.
Kemp added: situation obviously can be allowed to drag on. Our bank account is currently frozen, so none of the staff are getting paid, while (manager) Clive Walker needs to know where he stands over players for next season. But until the board issue is finalised we can begin to sort out anything. The increased likelihood that out of contract players such as Jake Leberl and Lee Shearer, who have already been approached by Woking, will drift away during this state of limbo is helping to concentrate the minds of the consortium members. The players have not been paid for the last week of the season while the four men on 52 week contracts have not received any wages for three weeks.
Dover meanwhile have formally applied to join the Dr Martens League Premier Division next season. The league annual meeting is at Torquay on June 8. Kemp said: back into the Conference straight away is not something we are looking at. There no point going back into the Conference with the debts we currently have. We need to have strong foundations and not make the same mistakes that have been made in the past.