PIRATES owner Matt Ford admitted the club had been left in a “vulnerable position” after their main sponsor for 2019 went into liquidation.

No1 Carpet Cleaning Limited in January signed up to back the SGB Premiership outfit for the campaign.

But a statement of affairs from Companies House showed the business had been liquidated, with a substantial five-figure sum owed to the Wimborne Road outfit.

Ford told the Daily Echo: “Sadly, we have to explain the situation to people at this time that No1 Carpet Cleaning Limited have gone into liquidation and the club were left being owed.

“We are extremely saddened. I think people would have seen during the course of the season, or realised there was a problem with No1 Carpet Cleaning Limited.

“It’s not right for me to go into reasons as to the change in their own company direction, which they have clearly had.

“We have done the honourable thing and run the logo all year long. Kept the advertising there for people to see in the hope something would materialise but sadly it hasn’t.

“It sadly has left us in a vulnerable position in respect of moving forward for 2020.”

No1 Carpet Cleaning Limited, of which Mr Richie Baker-Barratt was a director, had debts totalling £470,956.23. A total of £317,576.20 was owed to HMRC.

Ford admitted off-track this season had been the club’s toughest with regards to finances throughout his 20-year spell at the helm. “It’s no different in any sport, whether it be football, cricket, rugby or speedway that it’s always very difficult to make ends meet,” added the Pirates promoter.

“We are very reliant on sponsors to help keep the club afloat and we had been very lucky thus far in not experiencing any difficulties.

“But 2019 won’t go down as one of our best years in that respect.

“While the team had performed on track getting us to the top of the table after the domestic campaign but sadly falling short in the play-offs. Financially, it has easily been the worst year for the club since I have been involved.”

The Daily Echo contacted Mr Baker-Barratt but had not received a response at the time of going to print.

Poole are tomorrow set to end their campaign with a home clash against King’s Lynn at Wimborne Road (7.30pm).

And Ford is poised to provide the paying public with a questionnaire as to the future direction of the top-flight outfit.

“Because of the lack of funds this year, there is the question mark as to what is best for club in the future,” he added. “I’d certainly like to get the paying public’s idea to see if their feelings are potentially the same as mine.

“We will then make a decision based on those results as to which way to take the club in 2020.”