Former ASC official questions sale

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The now defunct Arbroath Sporting Club (ASC), past rivals of Arbroath Victoria, have responded with dismay to Angus Council’s offer to sell Ogilvy Park to the Vics.

The ASC was founded in 1960 as Angus Social Club but was forced to close in May 2011 after Angus Council hiked the annual rent demand from £900 to £11,000.

Les Barnett was ASC’s first secretary and treasurer and devoted over 40 years to the club — including a spell as manager.

He said: “The Arbroath Vics have now been offered the chance to buy their ground from the council for £10,000.

“I have no complaints about that, but what I, as a long standing former committee member of ASC, cannot understand, is that the same council put the ASC into exile a few years ago by asking for £11,000

“I want someone to explain that to me.”

A council spokesperson said: “The rental increase in 2011 was the first rental review since 2006 and was comparable with other football clubs. The club was also operating car boot sales and this was the reason for additional rental negotiations at the time which were not progressed.”

The local authority’s communities council met on March 3 to recommend that the committee approve the transfer of land at Ogilvy Park to the Arbroath Victoria Junior Football club at a discount of 50 per cent, representing a transfer value of £10,000.

A council spokesperson said: “The discussions in 2011 with Arbroath Sporting Club predates the Community Asset Transfer processes now in place.

“Each Community Asset Transfer Application is assessed against a robust scoring matrix by an interdisciplinary team of council

“Any applicable discount to a group is calculated from this on a case by case basis.”