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Page last updated at 12:02 GMT, Tuesday, 19 October 2010 13:02 UK

Billingham could fold over bills row with Hartlepool

Hartlepool United

Billingham Town will call on non-league fans to back them in a court case against League One Hartlepool United.

The club could be forced to close following a row over unpaid bills.

Pools claim they are owed more than £10,000 for ground improvements made to Billingham's Bedford Terrace home which they used for reserve-team fixtures.

Town claim they know nothing of an agreement to repay the money but could fold if the ruling goes against them at Teesside County Court next week.

Billingham, who play in the STL Northern League, have now made an appeal to fans from other football clubs to lend their support prior to the court hearing.

The consequences if we lose the case is that we cease trading, the team ceases to play football immediately

Billingham Town committee member Peter Martin

Town committee member Peter Martin said: "We had hoped that Hartlepool United and their owners IOR may have dropped the case, but this does not seem to be the case.

"At the moment we are mustering as many grass-root supporters as we can to stand outside the court from 9.30am on the day wearing their football shirts in a stand of solidarity against one football club winding-up another.

"The consequences if we lose the case is that we cease trading, the team ceases to play football immediately and all the hard work of the volunteers, committee members and sponsors who contributed to build the ground up from nothing will be lost."

The matter will be heard by a circuit judge at Teesside County Court, in Middlesbrough, on Wednesday, 27 October at 10.30am, and if it rules against Billingham then the club could fold with immediate effect.

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