We only want a level playing field

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I WAS interested to read in last week’s Herald that our council’s spokesman Cllr. Neil Stanley is delighted to continue the partnership with Eastbourne Borough FC.

How much does this cost local residents, and why is this partnership not extended to the other, older established senior clubs in the town?

Eastbourne United Association FC has played at Princes Park Oval since the mid 1940s.

The club has had little or no support from our council, (the leader excepted) let alone a partnership.

A succession of councillors have visited and promised to do something about the dilapidated ground, they are the landlords after all, and delivered nothing.

Council officers have put obstacles in our way for years, we always felt they would prefer a building development on part of the land, now they have seen we are determined to carry on they are being more helpful.

The Football Association recently decided that clubs at our level should have seating and enclosed grounds.

With the new floodlights which were required, these improvements are costing the club £120,000 although part of this will be grant aided.

We have to pay the council’s legal fees of £1,870, including Stamp Duty, the Gilbert Estate’s legal fees of £900, planning fees £600, and £900 to place an advert in the local paper!

Our own solicitor has been much more understanding of our wish to help residents as a community club and charged reduced fees. Architects fees were £900.

It may interest readers to know that demolition of the old stand cost £18.000, the new stand and fence will cost nearly £40.000, and the base for the new stand and hard standing a further £20.000

There are other costs but to enable us to remain in the county league and enter the FA Cup and FA Vase we must complete the improvements.

Come on Eastbourne Borough Council, give more help to clubs of all types struggling to serve the community, we are not just a senior football team, we have colts and juniors, bowls darts and angling clubs.

Eastbourne Borough FC, Eastbourne Town and United are all striving to offer a good social activity to the area.

All we ask at United, is a level playing field.

BRIAN JONES

Eastbourne Utd Association

Committee member