Mon, 09 May 2016
NEWBURY Football Club have been given a one-year stay of execution by West Berkshire Council.
The council was due to kick the club out of their Faraday Road ground in June so it could press ahead with its plan to redevelop the London Road Industrial Estate.
But last November, the council admitted that work was unlikely to start on the project, which has been beset by problems, until 2018.
This then caused a backlash from representatives of the football club, who demanded to know why they were being kicked out of the ground two years before development starts.
The council’s chief executive, Nick Carter, insisted it was “the right time to do it”, but councillor Alan Law responded by promising to review the timing of the club leaving their ground.
And the council is understood to have offered the club a one-year extension, which would allow them to carry on playing their home games at Faraday Road for another season.
However, the council is still not budging over finding the club an alternative ground when it does eventually push them out.
In January 2015, Mr Carter said in a public meeting that the council did not intend to close the club without a suitable replacement site being found.
However, he later backtracked and said it was “not duty bound” to do so.
The only two suggestions the council has made to date is either ground-sharing with rivals Thatcham Town FC or Newbury Rugby Club – neither of which the club feels is suitable.
Football has been played in the Faraday Road area of Newbury for 128 years – since Newbury Town were formed in 1887.
Newbury Town FC moved to the current ground in Faraday Road in August 1963 before the club folded in 1995.