As many of you are aware the Council at their January meeting have offered a final take it of leave it lease to Wymondham Town Football Club for continued use of the Kings Head Meadow (KHM). The club has played at the KHM since 1883 and is one of the oldest football clubs in the Country. The Club has never played Junior Football and when the Kings Head Public House closed (now the Towns Co Op Store) the Kings Head Meadow was left under covenant for the use of the football club and for physical recreation. As we are all aware as a result of the long and bitter battle to save KHM from development, covenants now unfortunately only seem to have a life of 25 – 30 years maximum.
Over the last 40 – 50 years the KHM has shrunk with the development of the Centrall Hall, Library and Car Park on an area which was always part of the KHM. The only piece which is left is the area that the Football Club lease and pay to fully maintain for public use as well as play football on. It is the only Adult football pitch in Wymondham a Town which once boasted 2 senior Saturday clubs in Wymondham Town and Wymondham Old Boys as well as many Sunday sides playing at the Rec.
Wymondham Town Football Club almost folded in February 2014 due to years of financial mismanagement. Our small 5 person committee inherited £83 with nearly £5000 of immediate debt and a club house that had to be closed on health and safety grounds as well as the disgusting state it had been allowed to get into. The new committee all 5 of us put in well over 30 hours each per week unpaid to keep the club going, and to try and save another Wymondham institution before it goes the way of the Cricket Club and all the other football clubs consigned to the Heritage Museum as things Wymondham once had.
Before we sign the lease which we have been given a deadline of January 31st so to do we need to know that Wymondham still requires not only a football club where currently we have 2 Adult mens Saturday Teams and an Under 19 Team and very very successful Ladies Team on a Sunday but a social venue. Currently during the week we have Darts and Crib teams using the facility and we are also proud that we have the Royal Naval Association, Probus Club, Farm Machinery Club, Wymondham Auctions and our regular Sunday Quiz teams and Sunday Carvery also using the venue. It is a community hub and is booked by the general public for Birthdays, Weddings, Funerals and other functions. However it costs the club £650 per week just to survive so the club has to have revenue income of somewhere close to £1,300 a week just to survive. Unfortunately most functions or partys on average will only spend about £550 so it is exceptionally difficult to even break the club even.
We intend to hold a public meeting on Saturday January 23rd at 11.30am. If this meeting is well supported and we feel there is a will from people to keep the club going and give the young men and ladies a place to continue to play football we will sign the lease and carry on working as hard as we are to save the club. If the meeting is not well attended we will really have to question whether it is worth putting all the hours in we do to keep a Club going that maybe should be consigned to the Heritage Museum. We are hoping people will volunteer to help the club at this meeting as with just 5 of us it is a constant struggle. We are not asking people to join the board but just to be able to help out now and again in various ways. To commit the club to a 25 year lease where we have to generate an extra £9000 revenue per year to pay for the increased rent is a large commitment. To find 2 guarantors to guarantee the rent should the football club fold is also a big responsibility and commitment.
We would as a board like to thank Mayor Joe Mooney for all his efforts in trying at least to negotiate with the club and come to an agreeable solution. We believe although it is far from perfect Councillor Mooney has tried his very best. We would also like to add how deeply offended we were at the Comments of Councillor Robert Savage who suggested we “should pull our socks up” maybe saving a club these last 2 years with 30 hours each voluntary work per week is not good enough in Councillor Savages opinion”
The Board of Wymondham Town Football Club
Kings Head Meadow