Court decision on damages claim over pitch clash that could force Bedford Town FC into administration is due imminently

David Howell, chairman of Bedford Town Football Club.

David Howell, chairman of Bedford Town Football Club.

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The owner of Bedford Town FC says he will be a club supporter for the rest of his life despite his plans to step down as chairman.

Long-serving David Howell, who has been at the helm for almost 15 years, made the announcement as the club awaits the outcome of a court battle that could force them into administration.

The club has spent the last two years battling a claim for damages through the courts after a Weymouth FC player’s career was cut short due to injuries he sustained from a collision with a Bedford Town FC player during a match in April 2013.

A decision is due any day and if the court rules in favour of Weymouth’s Jamie Skinner it will force Bedford Town into administration as damages and legal fees are expected far exceed the £100,000 covered by insurance.

Mr Howell said: “The club will be taken up by the administrator and then the administrator will look to sell it as a going concern.

“If a buyer can be found then the new club owner would take the club out of administration.”

I will be a Bedford Town supporter for the rest of my life, that will not change.

David Howell

Either way, Mr Howell, whose family owns a controlling 75 per cent share in the club, has announced he will step down at the end of the football season.

He said: “I have put a lot of time and effort over the years to run the football club and rebuild the facilities and move it forward. There comes a time when you feel a new board of directors and/or new owners will bring fresh ideas, new energy and a fresh pair of eyes.”

Over the years Mr Howell has invested £950,000 of his own money to improve club facilities.

He said: “I will be a Bedford Town supporter for the rest of my life, that will not change. You can’t be a chairman and be involved in the club for as long as I have without feeling passion for the club to do well.

“I will always be a Bedford Town supporter and want only for the club to do well, as I always have done over the last 15 years.”