Football club's ground up for sale
A FOOTBALL club has put their ground up for sale in a move that they said was designed to ensure their long-term survival.Tiptree United announced yesterday they had put the freehold of its Chapel Road headquarters and grounds up for sale.
A FOOTBALL club has put their ground up for sale in a move that they said was designed to ensure their long-term survival.
Tiptree United announced yesterday they had put the freehold of its Chapel Road headquarters and grounds up for sale.
The Ridgeons League First Division side said offers would be considered for the three-acre site in Tiptree, which is in a prime location for housing development.
A statement from the club said the decision had been taken due to “internal difficulties, together with the need for a major repair and modernisation programme which places the club in a position where to invest in its present facilities is no longer economically viable”.
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Under the plan for the club's future, they have decided that from the start of next season, they would be based at their other facilities in Colchester Road, on the edge of Tiptree.
Club secretary, John Wisbey, said: “Whilst the decision taken is regrettable, it has been made to ensure that, in the long term, the club continues to survive.
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“The major investment needed to bring the present clubhouse and football amenities up to modern-day requirements are simply beyond our financial capabilities and with ever-dwindling funds, sooner rather than later, the club would have been faced with total closure.
“Our saving grace is that over the years, the club's founders and trustees have had the good sense to purchase the Chapel Road site as well as buy our six-acre training grounds.
“These decisions will now enable us to transfer and keep playing football at Colchester Road whilst the disposal of Chapel Road goes ahead. Once the proceeds from the sale have been realised, a decision can then be taken as to if and where a new facility could be located.”
Mr Wisbey said the club - founded in 1933 and FA Vase runners-up two years ago - would need to make some improvements to and investment in the Colchester Road ground if they were to continue to play in the Ridgeons League.
These will include providing floodlights and the club lodged yesterday an application with Colchester Borough Council for planning permission to install them.
“I hope that with their approval and the support of the village, together with funding from the Football Association, come next spring we will be in a position to start upgrading the facilities,” said Mr Wisbey.
“Clearly, if we are not, then the club will be forced to drop down a level, but I hope that everyone concerned will do all that they can to ensure that this will not be necessary.”