THE boss of Darwen FC has been banned from the ground after its former owner won a court injunction against him.

Ted Ward has been told he risks prison if he does not comply with the order banning him and his companies from The Anchor Ground.

The court move was prompted after Kevin Henry claimed Mr Ward had paid him just £20,000 of the £95,000 price for the sale of the club.

Another court hearing will be held at a date to be fixed to try and resolve the dispute between Mr Ward and Mr Henry, who said he now intended to take over the running of the club.

Counsel for Mr Henry told the hearing, at Birmingham Civil Justice Centre, that the £95,000 sale had been agreed in January 2007.

Mohammed Zaman, for Mr Henry, accused Mr Ward of a ‘breach of duty’ towards the club.

He said Mr Ward had set up another company with a similar name to Darwen FC in to which he “diverted funds.”

Mr Zaman said Mr Ward had “passed off” this company - Darwen Football and Rugby Club - as Darwen Football and Social Club, which was first set up in 1973.

In a three-pronged court claim for an injunction he also accused the court Mr Ward and his business partner, Elena Batiste, of trespassing on The Anchor Ground.

Mr Ward and Ms Batiste represented themselves at the hearing.

Mr Ward claimed the deal to buy the club was dependent on another contract to buy 10 properties, which had not gone through.

He said documents proving this were in storage and his solicitor had been on holiday and had been unable to help.

Mr Ward said he had made improvements worth £127,000 to the club since taking over and said Darwen Football and Social Club had been unable to trade because of its reputation, adding “it’s a terrible statement to say we were diverting funds.”

He showed the court a copy of his personal bank statement, insisting “I am a man of substance.”

The court was shown evidence that no money had been banked into the account of Darwen Football and Social Club between December 2006 and January 2008.

Delivering her verdict, Judge Kirkham said the second company had been set up “to present a muddled picture to the outside world.”

She granted the injunction which will mean Mr Ward and Ms Batiste are banned from the Anchor Ground, as are Mr Ward’s businesses including The Darrener newspaper, which was being run from the ground.

Speaking after the case Mr Ward said: “It’s unfortunate but this is only the end of round one.”

Mr Henry said he was looking forward to returning to run Darwen FC and added: “I just think it’s very sad that its had to come this far.”

Darwen FC were one of the first members of the Football League and currently play in the Vodkat Northwest Counties League.