Published 30th June 2011
....former North West Counties League outfit.
The Stags’ 113-year history looks almost certain to draw to a close after owner Andrew Connolly chose not to enter next season’s NWCL or any domestic cup competitions due to the club’s £50,000 debts.
Now members of the Rossendale United Supporters Association have set about forming a new club to represent the town, with a view to playing their first competitive match at the start of the 2012/13 season.
Supporters Association chairman Ron Ashworth said: "The Supporters Association, in conjunction with other parties, are examining the feasibility of establishing a new club.
"It is unlikely that the new club will be able to start playing before August 2012 due to the logistics involved in forming a new club from scratch and will be dependent on the support for such a venture from the people of Rossendale.
"Rossendale United have been in existence since 1898 playing at Dark Lane and have been supported by generations of local people.
"Levels of support have declined recently and in combination with the financial position at the club the demise of the Rossendale United as currently structured was inevitable."
Ashworth is confident a new club would be backed by local fans, who he believes had become disillusioned with the financial turmoil and boardroom instability at Dark Lane.
The club owes around £50,000, with the majority being owed to its main creditor HM Revenue & Customs.
The Stags’ Dark Lane home is also secured against loans used to raise money for the club.
United’s four-man board stepped down in December, leaving Connolly in charge of the day-to-day running of the debt-ridden club.
Ashworth said: "We were saddened but not surprised to hear that the club has been expelled from the North West Counties League.
"The League Management Committee clearly ran out of patience with the club, and we agree with Derek Egan, the ex-manager of Rossendale United who had said that that a lot of volunteers have ‘run out of patience with the owner.’"
"Given the difficulties in raising short term finance, the Supporters Association Officers felt they could not associate the Association with a fundraising letter from Andrew Connolly asking local businesses and supporters for cash donations to meet the immediate demands of creditors."
A statement on the Vodkat League website, issued last Saturday after their AGM, read as follows: "Rossendale United have given no indication to the League Management Committee that they wish to remain members of the league for season 2011-12, and have not paid their league membership fee by the required deadline.
"No representative from Rossendale United attended the AGM to offer any explanation as to the club’s status.
This issue, coupled with non-payment of other fines and general maladministration over the past few months, means that Rossendale United are to be excluded from the league."