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Boston United Football Club News

Here is the news about Boston United received in the 2006/7 season. It is in date order with the latest news at the top.

Relegated twice

9 Jun At today's AGM of the Conference it was decided to relegate Boston United down to the Conference North. Conference Chief Executive John Moules said: "Boston entered into a CVA at 4:45pm on 5th May - the last Saturday of the season. The Inland Revenue put a caveat on that CVA that Boston could not pay football creditors. That breaks FA, Football League and Football Conference rules and regulations. At the end of the day they accepted that they would have to be placed in Conference North. This decision was ratified at our Board Meeting yesterday when we had at least three or four more meetings throughout the day with Boston and their legal representatives. This was based on today's facts not historical facts from 2002. We are giving Boston United the opportunity to re-establish themselves as a leading club outside the Football League. They believe that the decision we have made is fair and just and they are not going to appeal."

If Boston manage to survive through to the start of next season then they will take up their place in the renamed Blue Square North Division alongside the likes of Alfreton Town, Barrow, Gainsborough Trinity, Hyde United, Kettering Town, Nuneaton Borough, Southport, Stalybridge Celtic and AFC Telford. Boston's demotion provided a lifeline to Altrincham who for the second year running avoided relegation despite finishing in a relegation slot.

Cotton goes

19 Jan Youngster Dan Cotton who joined the club back in October from Blackstones has returned to the United Counties League side after his professional contract was cancelled this week. The 18 year old only made two appearances for the Pilgrims and has spent recent weeks on-loan at Spalding United.

Two new signings

19 Jan Boston United have signed up two more players to their squad. Utility player Stephen Vaughan has arrived from Chester City until the end of the season after a loan-spell with Rochdale where he made no appearances. The 21 year old has turned out 75 times for Chester - where his father is club chairman. He was born on 22/1/1985 in Liverpool. The Pilgrims have also snapped up experienced defender Shane Nicholson from Chesterfield on a one month loan deal. The 36 year old began his footballing career with Lincoln City in 1988 before moving on to play for Derby County, West Bromwich Albion, Chesterfield, Stockport County, Sheffield United and Tranmere Rovers. He has been on-loan at Lincoln City for the last few weeks and played in the Imps side that beat Boston on Boxing Day. He was born on 3/6/1970 in Newark.


16 Jan Loanees Ian Miller and Dany N'Guessan have returned to their parent clubs. Miller was recalled to help plug the gap caused by injury to Ipswich captain Jason De Vos. N'Guessan is back with Rangers after his loan period ended and Boston could not afford the terms for him to continue with the club. Defender Mark Albrighton has joined Conference side Rushden & Diamonds on a month's loan.

Posh Striker

11 Jan Boston United have signed striker Justin RIchards on-loan from Peterborough United for a month. The 26 year old joined the Posh in the summer from Conference side Woking where he had been top scorer. He has only scored one goal in 16 appearances for Peterborough this season. His previous clubs include West Bromwich Albion, Bristol Rovers, Colchester United, Stevenage Borough and Grays Athletic. He was born on 16/10/1980 in Sandwell.

Defender joins for a month

5 Jan Boston United have signed 22 year old central defender Bradley Thomas on-loan for a month from Yeovil Town. Thomas has yet to make any League appearances, but did come on as a substitute for Yeovil in their shock exit from the FA Cup against Rushden & Diamonds earlier in the season. He has been on-loan at Tamworth for much of the season where he has picked up four bookings in eleven appearances. He has previously turned out for Kettering, Aldershot, Heybridge Swifts, Weymouth and Easteigh. He was born on 29/3/1984 in Forest Green.

Drewe Broughton has now signed up until the end of the season and Jason Kennedy has extended his loan spell for another month from Middlesbrough. Paul Ellender will miss Saturday's match against Accrington Stanley as he will be serving a one match suspension after picking up five yellow cards.

Tim Ryan sold

Tim Ryan 4 January Boston United have sold defender Tim Ryan to League Two rivals Darlington for an undisclosed five figure fee. Ryan has been a regular in the side since joining on a free transfer from Peterborough in the summer. Also on-loan striker Drewe Broughton has returned to Chester City and on-loan midfielder Ian Miller has gone back to Ipswich Town as their loan periods have ended. Mark Albrighton has returned from his loan spell at Darlington and David Rowson has gone back the other way.

Elding sold

31 December Boston United have sold striker Anthony Elding to League Two rivals Stockport County for an undisclosed five figure fee. The income from the sale will allow the remaining staff and players at the club to receive their pay for December. Since rejoining Boston in the summer, Elding has scored five goals in eighteen starts. Anthony Elding

Rodwell to speak at Trust meeting

22 December Boston United Chaiman Jim Rodwell is to speak at an Open Meeting of the Boston United Supporters' Trust before Saturday's match against Walsall. The Open Meeting is taking place at the Unitarian Chapel in Spayne Lane close to the York Street Stadium and begins at 12.30pm. Everyone is welcome to attend the meeting to question Mr Rodwell about the current situation at the club and find out more about the Supporters' Trust. Full details of the meeting can be found on the Trust's website.

Youngsters depart

18 December Three of Boston United's most promising youngsters have left the club. Striker Nathan Forbes has joined Worksop Town, goalkeeper Ben Kirby is now with Ilkeston Town and Lewis Brooks has returned to Wisbech Town after a spell with Grantham Town.

Plans rejected

4 December Boston Council have turned down Boston United's plans to relocate to a new out-of-town stadium. The decision leaves the club with serious financial problems as they now have to find some way of paying the almost £1 million pounds they owe to the Inland Revenue. If the Inland Revenue call in the debt then the club could be wound up within days. The Council Planning Committee was highly critical of the applications submitted by the club. Club Chaiman Jim Rodwell said: "It is a very black day for Boston United and where we go from here I'm not too sure. I need to speak to my shareholders to see if they will back the football club. We are very, very disappointed. There's lots of us, myself included, that have to accept responsibility. It's a huge sum of money that at the moment I can't think where we might find it."

Damning council reports

24 November The reports by Boston Council's planning officers for the four planning applications for the relocation of Boston United and Boston Town football clubs put forward by Lavaflow have concluded that all four should be refused. There are multiple problems with each application. These vary from the lack of a business plan being submitted to support the applications, to problems with the developments being on areas liable to flooding, to unsuitable housing being proposed, to the lack of archaeological surveys, to serious problems with traffic around the developments. A whole plethora of Local Plan policies have been violated. The reports make it highly unlikely that the planning applications will be approved at the special planning meeting at Boston College on 4th December. The reports are available for download on the Boston Borough Council web site.

Player swap

23 November Boston United have made an emergency loan swap deal with Darlington. Mark Albrighton has gone to Darlington and 30 year old midfielder David Rowson has joined the Pilgrims. Rowson has previously played for Aberdeen, Livingston, Stoke City, Partick Thistle and Northampton Town. He joined Darlingon in the summer and has made 11 appearances for the Quakers this season. He was born on 14/9/1976 in Aberdeen.

New Stadium Planning Meeting

22 November Boston Borough Council will be holding a special planning meeting to discuss the complex and ill founded plans for the relocation of Boston United and Boston Town football clubs put forward by Lavaflow. The meeting will take place at the Boston College Conference Centre on Skirbeck Road on Monday 4th December starting at 2pm.

The four planning applications relate to:

More than 1,000 people have commented on the four planning applications and planning officers are sending out letters to those people, informing them about the meeting date and asking if they would like to attend the committee.

Because of the high level of public interest a ticket system will be operated as the conference centre will only hold 60-70 members of the public. Everyone who has already commented on the plans will be asked to write back and tickets will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

The revised plans can be viewed on the Boston Council website.

The plans were initially submitted to the council back in September 2005. Revised versions were submitted in October 2006. The council is still waiting for further information to be submitted about the applications from Lavaflow.

Boycott Hereford game

21 November The vast majority of Boston United fans are unhappy that Steve Evans remains in charge of Boston United following his conviction for serious tax fraud. The club chairman Jim Rodwell has stated that he will not sack Evans. So to show your protest against this decision I urge all Boston United fans who feel that it is wrong to have a convicted fraudster in charge of the club they support to boycott the next home game - against Hereford on Saturday 25th November. A low turnout on Saturday will send a clear message of the strength of feeling of Boston United fans to the Boston United board. It is not often you have a chance to help right wrongs. The vast majority of fans think that having a convicted fraudster in charge of the club is wrong. A boycott of the next home game could force the righting of that wrong. I believe it is the right move at the right time. Please boycott the match on Saturday and help right a wrong.

Colin Woodcock resigns

Colin Woodcock 6 November Club director Colin Woodcock has resigned from the Board of Boston United. In an interview with BBC Radio Lincolnshire Woodcock stated that he was unhappy that Steve Evans remained as manager, both in regard to the recent court case where Evans received a 12 month prison sentence suspended for two years as well as the poor results on the pitch. He said that the decision to retain Evans as manager made Boston United a laughing stock.

Exceptional circumstances keep Boston pair from prison

4 November Former club chairman Pat Malkinson and team manager Steve Evans had prison sentences suspended at Southwark Crown Court due to exceptional circumstances. Having both changed their pleas to "Guilty" at the door of the court after the start of their five week trial for conspiring to defraud the public revenue, Judge Goymer decided that there were exceptional circumstances for both defendents that would mean that the normal prison sentence for the sustained and considerable fraud could be instead suspended.

The press gather outside the court

Pat Malkinson was sentenced to two years in prison, suspended for two years. He also will also have property confiscated in order to pay back the £245,188 gained from the fraud along with £78,256 in interest and an additional sum for costs. This will result in his land and buildings in Spilsby Road being confiscated along with his business interests in the Gliderdrome. As a result of his criminal act he has also lost his gaming licence and thus his livelihood. Steve Evans was sentenced to 12 months in prison, suspended for two years. He was also ordered to pay costs of £1000.

In summing up, Judge Goymer said that he had taken into account the fact that Mr Malkinson had not gained personally from the fraud and that he continued to live a modest and unassuming lifestyle. He is also able to repay in full the amount owing, including interest. The state of his health is also poor. The judge concluded that together these factors amount to exceptional circumstances that allowed him to exercise statutory measures to suspend the prison sentence. In the case of Mr Evans, the judge stated that there was a relative lack of personal gain from the fraud, that the earlier FA Enquiry had already punished Mr Evans by suspending him from his job for two and a half years and imposing large fines and costs. During his period of suspension, Mr Evans had also done a considerable amount of community work - well in excess of that which could be imposed by the court. He finished by saying that if it was right to suspend Mr Malkinson's sentence it would be wrong to send Mr Evans to prison, therefore exceptional circumstances also existed for Mr Evans and his sentence would also be suspended.

The sentencing was scheduled for two o'clock in a packed Court 14 at Southwark Crown Court. All thirty six seats in the Public Gallery were filled with friends and relatives of the accused, the press and other interested parties. Judge Goymer however did not appear until 14:23, explaining that his late arrival was due to a visit by a senior presiding judge. Mr Hicks for the prosecution then summarised the case against Mr Malkinson and Mr Evans. He revealed how a fraud perpetrated by the football club systematically disguised wages and bonuses to players and staff as expenses that were exempt from tax. In this way the loss to the Revenue was in excess of £340,000 once interest had been taken into account. The Revenue had begun an investigation into the club's tax affairs following the FA Enquiry regarding false player contracts. The investigation had revealed massive loss to the Revenue. It was noted that although there was no personal gain obtained by the fraud, it did reduce the extent to which Mr Malkinson had to support the club out of his own pocket. At this point the judge commented that "Nothing suggests Mr Malkinson has led an extravagent lifestyle. I don't take issue with this, but it is not far from the case of a Company Director convicted of fraudulent trading while insolvent. It is an issue with sustained fraud over a long period. It was a culture he allowed to go unchecked."

In mitigation, Mr Sturman QC pleaded for mercy for Steve Evans. He said it was inconceivable that Steve Evans was the architect of the fraud. He was no different from previous managers. The conspiracy was well underway before he joined. Mr Evans had given up a profitable sales job to follow his dream. He had worked as hard as he could to keep the club going. He had cut the grass, he drove the bus. His motivational skills had let Boston win the Conference. He had no idea the Revenue were considering action along with the FA. Mr Sturman continued: "If your honour sends Steve Evans to prison today he will lose his job again. It has already cost him £140,000 in legal fees, fines from the FA and loss of income. I ask for tempering justice with mercy. Is it worth sending Steve Evans to overcrowded prisons? He is terrified of spending one day in prison. He has not corrupted anyone. He has come into an ongoing situation. What good would it do? It would do absolutely no good at all. He would be out of work, with a sick child after facing another relegation battle with Boston United. He would be unemployable. It is not a proportionate punishment. He does not deserve to go to prison for even one day. The major decisions came from above Mr Evans. His dominance was in relation to team affairs, not the mechanics of the fraud. There has been the stress and anxiety over four years. He has not slept. His family have not slept. He is terrified. There is no chance of him reoffending. To put him in custody three years after the FA would be wrong in principle."

FA Cup 1st Round Draw

28 October In this afternoon's draw for the first round proper of the FA Cup Boston United were drawn away against AFC Bournemouth. The match is scheduled to take place on Saturday 11th November.

One in, two out

27 October Boston United have signed Drewe Broughton on-loan from Chester City while at the same time sending Bob Davidson back to Rangers and loaning out Paul Tait to Southport. Broughton has initially signed on a one month deal. The much travelled 28 year old striker began his footballing career as a trainee at Norwich and has since turned out for Wigan, Brentford, Peterborough, Nuneaton, Dagenham & Redbridge, Stevenage, Kidderminster, Southend, Wycombe, Rushden & Diamonds and Chester. Overall he has scored 70 goals and picked up 64 yellow cards and 8 red cards in 322 appearances. Last season he was the dirtiest player in League Two having committed 115 fouls and received 7 yellow cards and 2 reds. He was born on 25/10/1978 in Hitchin.

Club chairman Jim Rodwell is reported to be in the running for the vacant manager's job at Rushden & Diamonds.

Ian Lee and Brian James Not Guilty

19 October The jury at Southwark Crown Court has found both Ian Lee and Brian James "Not Guilty" over the alleged conspiracy to defraud the Public Revenue. James is a director of Boston United Football Club and Lee is the club's former book-keeper. Both had pleaded "Not Guilty" to the charge against them and the jury concurred today. Last week General manager John Blackwell was also cleared. Manager Steve Evans and former club Chairman Pat Malkinson both changed their pleas to "Guilty" early in the trial, which began on 18th September. Malkinson and Evans will both be sentenced on Friday 3rd November.

Plans changed

19 October The plans for relocating both Boston United and Boston Town to new out-of-town stadia have gone back for public consultation after changes were made to the original plans.

The changes include:

The information on the four applications is available for inspection through the Boston Borough Council web site and the council's main offices in West Street during normal office hours. The council offices will also be open until 7.30pm on Wednesday, October 18 and Thursday, October 19.

The consultation period will run from Wednesday, October 11 to Wednesday, November 1.

Members of the public can inspect the planning documents by going to Boston United Documents.

Comments can be made by e-mail to planningapplicationcomments@boston.gov.uk or by post to Planning Services, Boston Borough Council, Municipal Buildings, West Street, Boston, Lincs PE21 8QR.

The revisions reveal major problems with flood risk at the four sites; plans to strand 200 fans at Boardsides for an hour after each game as only two buses are available to take them back into Boston on the proposed shuttle service; a limited capacity at Boston Town's new ground on Cuckoo Lane; and problems with traffic management on Tattershall Road due to excess traffic generated by the major new housing development.

In response to questions raised by the initial plans Lavaflow said that one of the principal reasons that the club had to move was that they could not bring the current ground up to Football League standards as this required the provision of 2000 seats and this was not possible. At the start of the current season the additional two hundred seats to bring the total seating up to the required number were added to the York Street ground.

John Blackwell Not Guilty

12 October The jury has returned a verdict of "Not Guilty" for club General Manager John Blackwell at the trial at Southwark Crown Court over an alleged conspiracy to defraud the public revenue. The verdict was directed by Judge Andrew Goymer who stated: "I have come to the conclusion that the state of the evidence as far as John Blackwell is concerned is such that a jury could not draw the conclusion that he was part of the conspiracy set out in the indictment." With Steve Evans and Pat Malkinson changing their pleas to guilty early in the trial, that only leaves the verdicts against director Brian James and book-keeper Ian Lee to be decided. The case continues at Southwark. John Blackwell

Huge new penalty and points deduction

28 September With former chairman Pat Malkinson and manager Steve Evans pleading guilty to cheating the Public Revenue at their trial at Southwark Crown Court, there comes the possibility that Boston United will be hit by a new penalty and points deduction by the Football Association. It has been claimed in court by the prosecution that over several years the club systematically disguised wages and bonuses to players and staff as expenses that were exempt from tax. In this way, it is claimed that the Public Revenue was cheated out of more than £323,000. Back in 2002, Boston United were promoted to the Football League by winning the Nationwide Conference title on goal-difference from Dagenham & Redbridge. The Daggers Chairman Dave Andrews is monitoring the trial closely and is consulting lawyers in regards to claiming back the money lost by Dagenham in not getting into the Football League. The non-payment of tax is also a clear breach of FA regulations and carries a large penalty and a possible points deduction. Boston United have already been fined £100,000 and had four points deducted from their first season in the Football League after being found guilty by the FA of a separate charge involving contractual irregularities back in July 2002.

Another b***** trip to Brighton!

23 September In the draw for the first round of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy (formerly the LDV Vans Trophy), Boston United were in the Southern Section (East) and have been draw away at Brighton & Hove Albion. The two sides met earlier this season at Brighton's Withdean Stadium in the first round of the Carling Cup. The Seagulls won that encounter 1-0. Brighton also hosted Boston in the LDV Vans Trophy back in 2003 and again won - this time 2-1. The match is due to take place in the week commencing 16th October. To curb the practice of clubs fielding weakened teams for the competition, the League has insisted that clubs will have to use players that have appeared in the majority of their first team games during the season.

Crime & Punishment

20 September Manager Steve Evans and former Chairman Pat Malkinson have dramatically changed their pleas to "Guilty" at the trial at Southwark Crown Court, where they were facing, along with three others, a charge of cheating the Public Revenue. The trial began on Monday 18th September and was expected to last four to six weeks. Evans and Malkinson will be sentenced at the end of the trial.

A new coach

7 September Boston United have appointed former Scottish international Colin Hendry to their coaching staff. Hendry had an illustrious playing career that saw him make over 250 appearances for Blackburn Rovers prior to a £4 million move to Glasgow Rangers. The defender picked up 51 caps for Scotland and is probably best remembered by England fans for being the player who Gazza flipped the ball over before scoring a spectacular goal at Wembley in Euro 96. He moved into management with Blackpool in June 2004, but a lacklustre performance that saw the Seasiders win only one game in his first ten in charge eventually saw him relieved of his post in November 2005. Former assistant manager Paul Raynor has decided to take up the offer of a new role that involves coaching the club's scholars.

Evans dumps Raynor

6 September Steve Evans has decided to dump his assistant manager Paul Raynor for the "benefit of the club". The manager told the club's official website: "Making this decision has been one of the hardest I have ever had to make". Raynor has been offered another position, but has left the club while he thinks about the offer. He has been told to give his answer by Monday. In the meantime Evans will be interviewing two candidates for the vacant post this evening. Raynor first joined the Pilgrims as a player in February 2000 from Ilkeston Town. He was transferred to King's Lynn a year later, but rejoined the club in a management role in February 2004 following Jon Sotnick's takeover.

On Trial

5 September A few former Pilgrims have been on-trial at various clubs over the last few days in their search for first team action. Youngster Dane Harper has been allowed to have a try-out at Wisbech Town by his current club St Albans City and is expected to feature in their upcoming friendly against Peterborough United. Attacking winger Danny Thomas was turning out for Grimsby Town's reserve side last week but is now having a week on-trial with Cheltenham Town. And finally, Scottish striker Tam McManus has been given a week to prove himself with Scottish Premier League side Falkirk after negotiating his way out of his contract with Dundee following their relegation. Danny Thomas

A matter of discipline

4 September Back at the beginning of August the Football Association released details of the disciplinary fines it would be issuing to clubs for poor on-field disciplinary records in the 2005/6 season. Boston United already had a £20,000 suspended fine hanging over them from 2004/5 for being the dirtiest team in League Two. Their performance in 2005/6 was slightly better as they dropped to sixth worst having committed 603 fouls, accumulated 86 yellow cards, 6 red cards and conceded 5 penalties. The FA therefore decided to carry over the suspended fine into the current season. However, it's not looking good for the Pilgrims. After their opening six games they now already top the poor discipline table for League Two. They are the only club to have accumulated more than 100 fouls so far, along with 13 yellow cards, a sending off and a penalty conceded. So if discipline doesn't improve dramatically, it looks like the £20,000 suspended fine will be invoked.

Young duo join on-loan from Rangers

17 August Boston United have secured the signatures on loan-deals of 20 year old striker Bob Davidson and 19 year old French wide midfielder Dany N'Guessan from Scottish Premier League side Rangers. Davidson is a highly rated young striker who joined the Glasgow side as a trainee and up to now has mainly turned out for Rangers' reserve side, although he has made two appearnces for the first team from the subs' bench. He takes over the No. 9 shirt from Julian Joachim following his recent departure. N'Guessan joined Rangers from French side Auxerre in July 2005 and has yet to play for their first team. He will wear the No. 22 shirt at Boston. Both players will be in the Boston squad for Saturday's match at Shrewsbury.

Francis Green gets two match ban

Francis Green 15 Aug Striker Francis Green has been given a two match suspension by the FA. This follows a breach of FA Rule E1 - misconduct, during the match against Peterborough on the 9th August. The ban comes into immediate effect, so Green will miss the games at Shrewsbury & Brighton.

Joachim signs for Darlington

14 Aug After scoring two goals and winning a penalty for Boston in Saturday's match at York Street against Darlington - a performance that won him a place in the Coca Cola League Two "Team of the Week", striker Julian Joachim has now been tempted to sign up with former Chairman Jon Sotnick's side for a reported six figure fee. He agreed personal terms and completed a medical at Darlington this afternoon. Joachim was top scorer for the Pilgrims last season with 16 goals. He has already scored three goals in as many games for Boston this season. Julian Joachim

Squad almost complete.

17 Jul After being released by Scunthorpe United and failing to win a contract after a trial with Port Vale, young midfielder Richie Ryan has signed a two year contract with Boston United. He began his football career as a trainee with Sunderland and made two appearances for them from the subs' bench in Premiership matches against Newcastle United and Arsenal. He joined Scunthorpe United and made seventeen appearances for them last season, scoring one goal. He was born on 6/1/1985 in Kilkenny, Ireland.

Another old'un signs.

29 Jun Boston United have signed 31 year old striker Paul Tait from Chester City. He began his footballing career as a trainee with Everton before joining Wigan Athletic for a season in 1994. He then dropped down to non-league, turning out for Runcorn and Northwich Victoria before resuming his League career with Crewe Alexandra, Hull City, Bristol Rovers and Rochdale. Recent seasons have seen him plagued by injury, that have limited his appearances. Overall he has made 217 appearances scoring 32 goals. He was born on 24/10/1974 in Newcastle.

Jon Sotnick quits over pay

23 Jun Club chairman Jon Sotnick has announced that he has resigned as Chairman of both Boston United Football Club and its holding company Lavaflow. He told the club's official website that he had resigned because: "Boston United are unable to remunerate me. I have to think of my own family and take steps to ensure they are looked after". It is expected that Director of Football Jim Rodwell will take over Sotnick's positions.

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