McCain Stadium security 'appalling'

A DIRECTOR of Scarborough Athletic, the football club formed after Scarborough FC went bust, has hit out at the former club's administrators after the fire that blazed through the derelict McCain Stadium on Friday.

Arsonists started the fire in the changing rooms. A fire service spokesman said afterwards they would be speaking with the police and council to try to prevent it happening again.

Leeds-based insolvancy company Begbies Traynor currently owns the ground. Scarborough Council has a covenant stating that the land must be used for a sporting purpose, and no buyer which meets that criterion has yet come forward.

James Hunter said that Begbies Traynor had let the stadium go to rack and ruin.

“After the last fire a few months ago we hoped the security would be beefed up but that hasn’t happened,” he said. “It’s awful to see the ground fall into rack and ruin, the McCain has a big place in my heart and in those of a lot of football fans.”

He said that gates leading to the club’s Shed end had been unlocked for several weeks.

“It is the administrators’ responsibility to make sure the place is secure and they just haven’t – anyone can get in there. I was up there taking photographs recently and there were two youngsters in the ground. They told me they use the stadium as a playground.

“What happens if a child has a fall or injures themselves in there? Who would be liable? Kids are kids – if they can get in there, they’re going to do it.”

Mr Hunter said that Scarborough Athletic would be interested in playing at the ground if the council took it over, but repeated arson attacks and vandalism made the proposition much more difficult.

“The more damage that is done to the stadium, the more difficult and expensive it would be to get it up and running again,” he said.

“What’s happened to the ground makes your heart sink. I went to the stadium for nearly 20 years and seeing the state it’s falling into is like having a part of what makes you what you are taken away.”

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