Rushden & Diamonds expelled from Rugby Conference following financial troubles
The Rugby Conference has expelled Rushden & Diamonds Rugby Club from the competition after the club failed to secure investment that would have eased its financial problems.
Rushden will now apply to play in the Zamaretto League with Southport avoiding relegation from the Blue Square Bet Premier as a result, though the club has confirmed it will launch an appeal.
A statement on the Rugby Conference website said: "Based on information provided by the club, it is clear that it has significant financial problems. Among other things, it owes several hundred thousand pounds to creditors, including substantial sums to football creditors and HM Revenue & Customs and in a few days time, faces the hearing of a winding-up petition supported by HMRC.
"The board explored matters fully with the club and its representatives in an attempt to resolve issues satisfactorily for the Rugby Conference and the club and to ensure payment of creditors.
"The club was given until the last possible moment to make proper arrangements to pay the most pressing of creditors, namely those supporting the winding-up petition and football creditors (understood to be approximately