Council plays down fears over Boro’s debt

Work starts at the site of the Scarboroughs new Football Stadium. pic Richard Ponter 160202b
Work starts at the site of the Scarboroughs new Football Stadium. pic Richard Ponter 160202b

The borough council claims progress on the new leisure village will be ‘unaffected’ by Scarborough Athletic’s money troubles.

The football club, which currently plays its home games in Bridlington, announced last month that it needs to raise £25,000 by the end of this season in order to stave off a financial crisis.

McCain Stadium 7th August 2015. pic Richard Ponter 153216c

McCain Stadium 7th August 2015. pic Richard Ponter 153216c

In a statement the club blamed falling attendances and poor performance on the pitch for its troubles, with the club losing around £700 every week. It was also released that it was still paying former management duo Bryan Hughes and Paul Foot, who were sacked in December.

Chairman Dave Holland stressed that the club ‘would not die’ but the announcement caused concern amongst some of Scarborough’s residents.

On Friday last week Labour leader Cllr Steve Siddons, in the style of his party’s leader Jeremy Corbyn, used the meeting of the full council to voice the fears of one of his ward’s residents about what would become of the stadium at Weaponness if the club was unable to use it.

He said: “Would it be fair to say that financial success and viability of sports village and, in particular, the stadium is closely tied to the partnership with Scarborough Athletic?

“In the light of recent revelation that club needs £25,000 to see the season out what key controls does the council have in place to monitor and ensure that key partnerships such as these are operated within prudent and sustainable parameters.”

Council leader Derek Bastiman told his counterpart that he would respond to the concerns in writing.

The Scarborough News pressed the council for an answer to the question and in response a spokesman for said: “We are aware of the statement recently issued by Scarborough Athletic Football Club appealing for financial support and we wish the club every success in achieving its goal.

“The development of Scarborough Leisure Village is unaffected by this announcement and work continues at a pace on site as planned.

“Everyone Active, our leisure and fitness partner, is already engaged in dialogue with the football club about how community football will be delivered in the new stadium on completion of the leisure village.”

When plans for the leisure village, which includes the stadium and two new education establishments, were passed by an overwhelming majority last year many councillors spoke of the need to “bring Boro home”.