Will Arbroath SC be made homeless?

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THE FUTURE of an Arbroath junior football club which is set to lose its ground looks bleak after it has been left in limbo by Angus Council.

As revealed by the Herald in January, Arbroath SC will not be having their lease of Seaton Park renewed by the local authority who plan to redevelop the land.

The club, which has just celebrated its 50th anniversary, has used the park since 1986, and was told they would be allowed the ground until May, 2012 but then would have to find a new home elsewhere.

But there are fears there are no other suitable venues available in the town and without a ground, ASC would be forced to fold.

Barrie Munro, vice-president of the club, had been hopeful that Angus Council would help them find an alternative venue but he says they have yet to be in touch.

He explained: “We are just left in limbo because we haven’t heard anything since we found out our lease wasn’t to be renewed and we only found that out through the newspapers.

“We understand that once the lease is up in May, they will extend it for another year until May, 2012, but even then we have only heard this verbally and have had nothing in writing.

“If it works out that we can’t use the pitch after May, we may have no option other than to fold.”

ASC fund the running costs of the club through car boot sales on Sundays and without that revenue they would be unable to operate.

It has been suggested other fields in the town could be offered as a potential new home ground but Mr Munro explained transferring to these alternative venues might not be simple.

He said: “Junior football grounds have stipulations that they must be fenced off and have changing rooms for both sets of players and referees,

“This would cost a lot of money that I don’t think the council would be willing to spend.

“Plus, as the car boot sales support the club, we would need somewhere where we can still hold them.”

When it was revealed that Seaton Park was to be deemed surplus to requirements by Angus Council, Councillor David Fairweather pledged that ASC would be assured of a new home.

And he still maintains that the council will find somewhere for them to play their games.

He said: “It will not be a case of going along and saying to them your time’s up boys you have to leave.

“ASC have just celebrated their 50th anniversary and I expect to see the club still going in another 50 years time as we will find another place for them. “