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Falmouth Football Club needs to sell ground to survive
6:00am Friday 11th October 2013 in News
The club, which moved to the site on Bickland Water Road in 1957, has suffered well-publicised financial difficulties over recent years as it struggled to service a historic debt dating back to the mid-seventies.
The total owed to creditors now stands at well over £100,000, and with gate receipts falling and running costs on the increase, the club’s directors have decided the only way to ensure Falmouth Town FC's future is to move.
Speaking exclusively to the Packet, current director Graham Medlin spelled out just how desperate the situation at Bickland Park had become.
“We don’t want to move, but I just can't see how we can carry on the way things are,” he said. “It’s the only way we can see that Falmouth Town can survive. The club has a great history, but it’s just that, history. If we don't do something now, Falmouth runs the risk of losing its football club forever and we'll never get it back.”
The ground backs on to a residential area and has been valued at more than £2.2m, in the past attracting the interest of several property development companies.
In accordance with the club's constitution, all money earned from the sale of Bickland Park would go towards paying off its debts, and building a new ground - providing a suitable plot of land can be found.
Recent discussions with Falmouth School over the possibility of a joint venture at a site on Union Corner appear to have come to nothing, and with time running out the club are preparing to look further afield.
A piece of land known as Pool Field further down Bickland Water road has been mooted as a possible destination, but Medlin admitted the club's directors had little knowledge of planning laws, and struggled to know where to begin their search.
Local MP Sarah Newton, said: “I know that fans will be concerned by Falmouth Town Football Club’s possible move from Bickland Park. My grandfather Ken Tewkesbury was involved in the founding of the Club and I very much hope that a sustainable future can be secured for it.
“I am keen to help if I can, and will be in touch with the Executive Committee to see if there is any way in which I can assist.”
Councillor Dave Saunby, who represents the area on both Cornwall Council and Falmouth town council, said it was shame if the football club now had to move. “They've been there a long time,” he said. “There have been rumours for ages, but nothing official. If the idea is that the site should go for housing, then the question will be’what kind of housing?’ We’ll have to wait and see, but whatever it is I hope it will benefit local people.”
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