STRATFORD Town Football Club can play on after a council loan repayment plan was agreed.
In 2005 the club borrowed £250,000 from Stratford District Council to pay towards moving to its current home of Knights Lane in Tiddington. They were also given a £500,000 grant from the council along with £1million from the Football Foundation.
The club agreed to pay back £1,200 per month. But since then have repaid just £10,000 to the council due to factors including league promotion.
They now say they can only afford to pay back £200 each month, which councillors this week agreed to. At that rate it will take 100 years to pay off the loan, but the repayment plan will be reviewed in 12 months.
The alternative option was for the club to pay the original agreed monthly amount, which councillors said would lead to insolvency.
At a meeting with the council the club explained expenses had increased and it was ‘struggling to remain viable’, with the club only surviving due to sponsorship money and the help of dedicated volunteers.
Club bosses also repeated pleas which they had made in 2011 calling for the loan to be written off.
Council finance spokeswoman Coun Lynda Organ said: “There is no question that the football club is an extremely valuable community facility and we are delighted that a way forward has been found that fulfils the requirement for loan repayments that the club can afford.”
The club has seen successes in the past five years with two promotions. It also has 35 ‘feeder’ teams.
The Football Association say it is a well-run community club which is also a community hub for many local residents for events and meetings