GRAHAM DAWE hopes Plymouth Albion’s players can put the club’s off-the-field problems behind them and concentrate on trying to win their remaining league games.
Albion are third in the National One table after winning 13 of their last 14 matches, including their last eight.
Although they are 14 points leaders Richmond, Plymouth’s players have refused to write off challenging for the title as they still have the Londoners to play.
However, on Thursday evening the Albion board gave notice of their intention to appoint an administrator to enable a sale of the club to go ahead.
The prospective buyers want the club debt free, but Albion are believed to still owe money on a six-figure loan taken out by the previous board in 2014 from Plymouth City Council. It is believed that a number of people close to the former board acted as guarantors for that loan but not all have been willing to help the club pay it off.
Without paying off the loan, Albion have no hopes of obtaining the freehold of their ground from the council.
The current board, who stepped in last year to try and save the club then, say the only option now, with income down, is to go into administration to clear their debts, which in the case of the council loan would pass to the guarantors, and sell the club.
However, that will almost certainly bring a points deduction. That will mean any hopes of sneaking top spot will be over.
Dawe, though, insists his players just have to just focus on playing.
“After yesterday’s news it is important that we are more determined than ever to do well in our next game,” said Dawe. “Then it’s a case of just going from there.
“As far as I can tell the players are just continuing as normal. They are very determined to challenge themselves and the opposition and that does not seem to have diminished.”
“But Ampthill, which is our next game, is going to be an extremely difficult fixture because they caused us lots of problems when they played us at home and they are a pretty astute team. It is going to be a great challenge.”
When asked if his team felt they could still catch Richmond, Dawe said: “The aim is always to catch every team above you.
“The guys have played really well and got us into a good position and it has always been our aim over the last few weeks to try and finish top of the pile.
“We are really enjoying challenging these teams at the top of the table.”
Dawe, though, refused to give his thoughts about the club possibly going into administration.
The club’s current situation will lead to speculation about his own future. Dawe has enjoyed a successful 12 months, leading Cornwall to County Championship success, rebuilding Albion’s squad from scratch and getting asked to help with England.