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Last Updated: Thursday, 11 January 2007, 17:53 GMT
New owners can save Boston's day
By Pete Oliver

York Street Stadium
Boston would hope to leave York Street
Boston United chairman Jim Rodwell is optimistic that the club can secure new owners to safeguard its future.

The Pilgrims are up for sale and are in a period of exclusivity with potential buyers - believed to be headed by the former chairman of another club.

They are carrying out due diligence and Rodwell is hopeful that a deal can be concluded before the end of the month.

"It would be good for the club, to stabilise and take it forward," he told BBC Sport.

Rodwell admits that there is a lot riding on the deal as Boston, who have reported debts of £1.1m, seeks to find a way out of its financial difficulties.

The Pilgrims' losses have previously been sustained by parent company Lavaflow, but a recent decision by the local authority not to allow the deferral of plans for a new ground was the straw that broke the camel's back.

Last month, players threatened to strike over the possibility of non-payment of wages and Rodwell admits that new backers are needed.

"Hopefully a knight in shining armour will pick up the baton. And if the new purchasers do come on board they will pick up the reins regarding re-location," he added.

"Boston have no choice but to move ground. The existing ground is not suitable for a Football League club."

As the chairman I have to be an eternal optimist

Jim Rodwell

In the short-term, manager Steve Evans sold striker Anthony Elding to Stockport and Tim Ryan to Darlington to ease the cash-flow problems and ensure that everyone at the club was paid.

"A lot was made of that because it was in the run-up to Christmas," Rodwell said.

"But it is not unusual to be sitting here at the start of a month or even half-way through thinking how are we going to get the money together to pay the wage-bill.

"But not one player or member of staff is owed money, and long may that continue."

Boston have had a chequered history since winning promotion to the Football League in 2002.

They started their first season with a four-point deduction imposed for financial irregularities, which also ultimately led to a suspended jail sentence for manager Steve Evans and former chairman Pat Malkinson at the end of last year.

But despite a small squad and financial constraints, Evans has kept the team afloat in his second spell in charge and recent relegation fears have eased thanks to a run of four wins in their last eight games.

"As a former player I know how difficult it was to attain League status," said Rodwell, 36, who was part of Boston's Conference-winning side.

"It would be a disaster if we dropped out. But I am absolutely convinced that we have the manager in place and enough about us to stay in this division and finish in a healthy position, although a lot is dictated by finances and the players we can bring in."

Safety on the pitch is one thing and Rodwell, who has other interested parties waiting in the wings should the current takeover talks break down, is also certain that off the field the club can look ahead to better times.

"As the chairman I have to be an eternal optimist," he said.

"I am hopeful that there is a ray of sunshine somewhere.

"Boston has every chance if we can get somebody on board with the cashflow and professionalism to re-locate.

"There's no reason why we can¿t move forward with a stadium the town can be proud of and a team that can survive and prosper in the Football League."



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