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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Feb 9, 2006

Rotherham could face closure within weeks

League One strugglers Rotherham will cease trading and be forced to drop out of the Football League unless they can raise up to £2million.

Administration is not an option as Rotherham do not own Millmoor and own virtually no assets, ensuring they will head straight into liquidation if a new injection of funds is not found.

The estimated deadline to secure the funding is between four and six weeks.

Chairman Peter Ruchniewicz told a press conference: 'We have to find £1million or the club is likely to cease trading and drop out of the Football League.

'The club is being advised by licensed insolvency practitioners and must find £1million before the end of the season, and perhaps a further £1million to ensure full viability for next season.

'If we do cease trading then it seems almost certain we'd have to go straight into liquidation, with administration unlikely because of our limited resources and the levels of funding required to support such a move.

'Regrettably, that means that the club would go out of existence and as a board we have a statutory duty not to allow the club to trade to a point where it cannot recover from, and that point is fast approaching.'

Rotherham, who currently lie second bottom in League One, are losing £140,000 a month and have been hit particularly hard in recent weeks following a poor response to a recent rights issue and an ongoing dispute with Southend over the £125,000 transfer of striker Jamal Campbell-Ryce.

Relegation last season, and subsequent reduced gate receipts this term, have further fuelled the cash crisis at Millmoor.

However, while Ruchniewicz admitted Rotherham's plight was desperate, he insisted funding could be found to save the club's future.

'Without downplaying the seriousness of the situation, we sincerely believe we can save the club providing people who have any link with the club get behind us,' he declared.

'Rotherham has a population of 250,000 and if the equivalent of £10 per person was given then the club could still survive.'

Rotherham United Supporters' Trust representative Craig Saunderson, a board member at the club, is also confident a solution can be found, despite dwindling crowds and the growing threat of relegation.

Saunderson said: 'The people of Rotherham need to come together and I'm pretty confident if I'm being honest.

'History tells you that Chesterfield, Wrexham, York, Lincoln and Bournemouth have been in dire straits and come out of the other side.

'There are successful individuals out there in Rotherham and beyond who could donate and help the club survive, it's just about finding them and securing that funding to safeguard the club's future.'

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