Borough chairman Hook denies any wrongdoing

Gosport Borough chairman Mark Hook, left, with Alex Pike
Gosport Borough chairman Mark Hook, left, with Alex Pike
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National League bosses have been left in the dark by crisis club Gosport Borough’s failure to show up for a hearing into their financial predicament.

Club chairman Mark Hook, however, has dismissed suggestions Borough were required to turn up at the league’s Birmingham base on Thursday, defending the decision to submit a written explanation instead.

But with their transfer embargo still to be lifted, a threadbare first-team squad of 12 senior players behind on wage payments, and only five days until the transfer window closes, Gosport’s play-off hopes hang in the balance.

Hook said: ‘We were never meant to turn up.

‘We didn’t ask for a personal hearing so we didn’t have to show up – we submitted everything in writing.’

A National League spokesperson said: ‘We can confirm the club was due to appear at a hearing Thursday afternoon in relation to certain matters but did not attend.’

While confusion surrounds whether Gosport had to attend Thursday’s hearing, Borough’s off-field problems are more clear-cut.

The National League South club, who began the day in the fifth and final play-off spot, remain behind on player wages and under a transfer embargo – although Hook is hopeful they will be able to bring new bodies in before Thursday’s deadline.

‘The players are still owed but we are communicating with them on a regular basis and they are happy we are honouring our commitment to them,’ added Hook.

‘We said they would all be paid up by the end of the season and we will be sure that happens.

‘We are waiting on news from the league as to whether we can sign players or not.

‘We are certainly hopeful, we have honoured everything we said we were going to do.’