Winchester City Hands Back Keys to Ground


Posted by Kevin Gover

Posted in News

PIC Winchester City 1

Just eight months ago, 20 August 2012, Winchester City were top of the league. The Twitter interaction between Winchester Today and Winchester City was one of immense pride. 

Let’s face it, all of the editorial team here are nuts about football. All of us here thought this would be a fantastic year for the club. Indeed, for a while, the wins kept coming.

Just eight months later, City are rock bottom of the league, on the wrong end of a 10-0 hammering by Merthyr, points deducted – and now the keys of the ground have been handed back to Winchester City Council.

 PIC Winchester City 2The City Council itself hopes the move will give the club breathing space to plan its future.

As landlord of the site at the North Walls Recreation Ground in Winchester, the City Council will now see that power is restored to the site, enabling the team to complete its fixtures for the season and also allowing the nursery that uses the buildings to return, much to the relief of local families which depend upon the service it provides.

The immediate cause of these problems was that the club has not been able to pay an electricity bill which led to power being shut down.

Keith Wood, the Leader of Winchester City Council, says they have been monitoring the situation at Winchester Football Club closely: “In view of the problems they have had I am pleased to say that the leaseholders have decided to hand back possession of the ground to the City Council. This enables us to take swift action to restore power to the site, allowing the club to finish the season and the nursery to use the premises again.  We are particularly concerned to ensure the nursery, on which many local parents depend, can reopen for the new term and this should now be possible.”

He says they have been working closely with local MP Steve Brine and everyone has had to move quickly to resolve a difficult situation:  “Looking forward, we want to see a new community-based football club emerge which has its roots firmly in Winchester and which lives within its means.”

Winchester City Council will now be talking to interested parties about the future of the football club for next season and beyond.