Council to take 30 per cent of Vics’ profit

ARBROATH Vics Junior Football Club has taken over where the late lamented Arbroath SC left off by holding weekly car boot sales at their Ogilvy Park ground. They have a special dispensation from Angus Council to continue until next month.

But the downside of the deal is that the local authority will net 30 per cent of the profits they make.

And the deal the club has struck with the council does not sit well with Monifieth councillor Rob Murray.

The football club currently pays £700 a year for the lease on the ground and it was not due to be reviewed for another two years.

However, as they wanted to hold car boot sales to generate revenue, they approached the local authority to negotiate new terms.

The football club investigated the possibility of holding car boot sales at their ground after the Arbroath SC sales at Seaton Park stopped when the club went into abeyance.

ASC folded after the council proposed a massive rent increase to take into account the income generated from their hugely popular Sunday car boot sales. The club stated it could not pay what was asked by the council and was disbanded.

The new deal negotiated by Arbroath Vics will mean that once they have planning approval they will hold boot sales at Ogilvy Park on Sundays between April and September.

Their rent was increased to £1,000 and the council will take 30 per cent of the profits generated by the car boot sales.

A club spokesman stated: “Arbroath Vics have had meetings with Angus Council regarding the running of car boot sales at their ground, Ogilvy Park.

“These discussions have so far proved to be encouraging and the council is working closely with the club to determine how best to proceed.

“We have received permission to hold the car boot sales from the start of June, up until the last Sunday in October.  Once the last one has been held, we will discuss with Angus Councill officers what the next step is for re-commencing in April 2012.”

However, Monifieth councillor Rob Murray was unhappy at the cash-grab actioned by the council’s corporate services department and said he feared a precedent was being set.

He stated categorically that he does not want to see cash being taken from hard pressed voluntary organisations but was told that the football club is happy with the arrangement.

Councillor Murray said: “I am not at all happy that we are doing this and I hope that this doesn’t become a precedent and we start taking a percentage from voluntary organisations which have lets from us. If that becomes the policy of this council I would be extremely unhappy.”

However, committee chairman councillor Mark Salmond said that his understanding was that the club is happy with the deal.

Colin McMahon, director of corporate services, said that the club had approached the council asking to hold sales on the ground, which is leased from the local authority.

He said that the council would expect some return from that and a 30 per cent share was negotiated.

A spokesperson for Angus Council said: “Arbroath Victoria FC carried out some trial car boot sales during the late spring and summer to assess the level of public interest,  as well as determining capacity and operational issues and financial viability.

“These Sunday car boot sales  are still being held until the end of October, weather permitting, under an agreement with  Angus Council which allowed a further extension to the club to carry out trial  sales.

“The car boot sales will cease  from the end of October and will resume in  the spring of 2012, as from April 1,  once the club has successfully submitted a planning application to hold these sales.”

Councillor Donald Morrison commented: “The council’s handling of the lease with Arbroath Sporting Club remains fresh in the memory throughout the town and, many feel contributed to the demise of a long standing football club. 

“I can only be content if the Vics’ management committee is truly happy with the council taking a slice of any profit made from their car boot sales as my concern is that by skimming a slice of profits from one local organisation’s fund-raising efforts this could set a precedent for the local authority.”