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Boardroom battle puts Ashford Town's future at risk

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By Alex Hoad

The future of Ashford Town is again shrouded in doubt after one of the directors began legal proceedings to wind the club up in the High Court.

Tony Betteridge owns the freehold to the Homelands ground and 50 per cent of the club but has been in dispute with co-owner Don Crosbie for more than a year.

The club’s debts are believed to run to more than £500,000 and Mr Betteridge claims HM Revenue & Customs have also begun action against the club.

The feud has resulted in Mr Betteridge launching a petition to see the club wound up in the High Court on June 30 as he claims he has been locked out of the club’s business for months and insists the club is now insolvent.

In a statement on the club’s official website, Mr Betteridge said: "It is with great sadness that I have to report to you that I have been forced into winding up proceedings against the club.

"I and my solicitors have been trying to address this situation, however events have overtaken us and it has come to our attention that the club is clearly insolvent."

"In a normal company situation, this would be dealt with by a functioning board of the company but in this case, we never had a functioning board at the best of times and certainly not now.

"Even though the club has reduced its costs significantly and has additional income from rent and profit on bar and food takings relating to Maidstone United, Ashford Town is still accumulating more debt week on week."

In a statement on the club’s website, Mr Crosbie responded: "It is a great shame all this has to be aired in public but it is good that it can finally be sorted and will allow the club to move in the right direction."

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