Way forward for Wymondham Town unveiled at packed meeting
PUBLISHED: 16:10 22 February 2014 | UPDATED: 16:10 22 February 2014
A way forward for a struggling Norfolk football club with mounting debts was provided at a packed public meeting earlier today.
Wymondham residents turned out in force to show their support for Wymondham Town Football Club, which has been playing in the town for 129 years, at the club’s Kings Head Meadow home as committee member Andy Gardiner outlined proposals, including a new club structure, to help the recovery from debts of nearly £3,000.
However, he warned the club would need to have overcome its problems in time for when negotiations begin with Wymondham Town Council for the renewal of its lease in October.
Mr Gardiner raised concerns about the auditing of the accounts, adding there had been three AGMs where no accounts had been presented.
The treasurer Emma Chambers has also previously revealed the accounts had not been completed properly during the six month period between her predecessor Tony Sheldrake leaving the role due to ill health in December 2012 and her taking over the position in May.
Mr Gardiner said figures collected by the treasurer revealed during the last six years the club had a turnover of £339,267, yet had made a net loss in all but one of those years.
He added certain costs could have been reduced, such as pipe cleaning for the bar, while he also raised concerns that thousands of pounds worth of free matchday drinks had been given away.
A £1,200 bill is also owed to HMRC, while the district valuer has also warned there will be a rent increase when the new lease is agreed.
He proposed a new structure whereby there would be a Wymondham Business Panel to oversee the running of the club, which would be made up from successful business leaders in the town, along with a separate board of trustees.
The problems with the debts and poor accounting came to light during discussions between the club and a town council working party over plans to demolish the existing football clubhouse and replace it with a modern, two storey community building.
Mr Gardiner warned the community building project could not go ahead if there was a risk the club could fold.
He added: “All money invested in the club has to entice people to use it more. It is a great facility to have in the centre of Wymondham and people should use it more.”
His sentiments were backed by residents at the meeting, with one saying the clubhouse was as “significant for the town as the library and Central Hall.”
“The fact that so many of you have turned up shows that we can turn this club around,” Mr Gardiner added.
The club will now look to appoint five committee members.