On hold, for nowBy Adam Lee
June 12, 2008
It has been a momentus few days at Larges Lane following some major announcements at the club’s AGM on Sunday.
Firstly, it was announced that the relocation away from the current ground has had to be postponed due to the slump in the property market, although the club is still hopeful that a solution will be reached in a matter of months.
They are currently looking at an area of land where they can relocate the entire club, establishing two full-size pitches (including a stand for first-team games), two junior pitches and an all-weather pitch.
Secondly, the club’s members voted to change the structure from a members club to a Company Limited by Guarantee.
Effectively, this means the club is in a more stable poisition to negotiate it’s relocation, and will also protect Bracknell Town’s greatest asset, the much coveted land at Larges Lane.
Thirdly, the club announced further details of a sponsorship deal, revealed exclusively by the Standard last month, that should safeguard their existence for at least the next two years.
Concerning the club’s relocation, chairman Chris Nixon was disappointed that he couldn’t make a concrete announcement, but detailed what the club are looking for and when he hopes to finalise details.
“The AGM was set up, partially, to announce a new site, but the events of the past few months have prevented that and I’m terribly disappointed,” said Nixon.
“We have got to drive on and secure a site that is 12-15 acres.
“We feel very strongly that our preferred site has a chance and we will be in a much stronger position in about three or four months time to negotiate a better deal.”
The members also voted unanimously to secure the future of the club by transforming into a Company Limited by Guarantee, a move that has delighted Nixon.
“I’m very pleased,” he said.
“In terms of the committee and the new directors, it’s not going to be a lot different to what it is now, but it’s clearly the right move as a club if we want to grow.
“We have to be in a position to be stronger and we have to continue to move the club forward.
“It makes the whole fabric of the club a lot stronger.”
Details also emerged of the sponsorship package provided by property developers St James’ – a subsiduary of Berkeley Homes.
The company is a leading figure in the planned relocation, and has given the club a package worth £100,000 over the next two seasons, with an optional three-year deal worth £120,000 when the original expires.
Nixon revealed that much of the money will be invested into the new reserve team, but insisted that the cash will be used across the board to maintain the club at the current level of football and build for the future.
He said: “Outstanding. Unbelievable. Magnificent.
“Most football clubs, when they plan to relocate, will be offered some sponsorship and there is always some sort of financial benefit.
“This, though, is outstanding in comparison to some deals that other clubs have made.
“The support from them has been tremendous and the money has been given purely for the benefit of the club.
“The football club is not as financially stable as we would like it to be – we are not a lucrative football club so the sponsorship helps with the running of the club.
“It goes across the whole spectrum of expenditure.
“Football clubs at our level need sponsorship deals in order to be viable – we can’t rely on the money the club makes alone.
“Unless you have got sponsorship or a benefactor then you have no chance.”
— It emerged this week that former Wokingham & Emmbrook manager Tony Calvert has returned to the club as part of the backroom staff.
The veteran striker spent much of last season at Binfield, but leaves the Moles to take on the new role at the Hellenic Division 1 East side.