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> Burscough in trouble
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post May 16 2011, 11:53 AM
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Copied over from another forum:

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The future of Burscough FC is in doubt after the owners sacked both the Chairman and Secretary by post and signed a groundshare agreement with neighbouring Skelmersdale.


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The future of Burscough FC is in the balance after the Chairman and Secretary were sacked by post and the team was moved to nearby Skelmersdale in dramatic new developments in the long running ownership saga.

Discussions over the club’s future has led to the owners of the club sacking the Chairman and Secretary with immediate effect, as fans wait and see if they will even have a club to follow next season.

Chairman Frank Parr and long-running secretary Stan Petherbridge were sent letters on Saturday (13 May) informing them they are no longer needed at the club.

According to Keith Forshaw of the Burscough Supporter’s Club: “This morning Stan Petherbridge was informed by post that his position as club secretary has been terminated with immediate effect.
“Martin Gilchrist has appointed his son as the new secretary. Stan was informed to end any correspondence regarding the club and cease to use any official BFC letterheaded paper.”

Meanwhile, Chequer Properties, the owners of the club, will pursue a ground share with nearby Skelmersdale United, moving the club out of Burscough for the first time since its foundation in 1946.

Owners Paul and Martin Gilchrist have signed an agreement to share the ground and plan to sell Victoria Park. However, unlike when the company bought the club last year, they refused to promise to offer Burscough an alternative ground once they moved out.

A covenant on the ground states the current site can only be built on if there is another site for the team to play on in Burscough.

This means any move to Skelmersdale should be temporary, but it is believed Chequer Properties are searching for ways to bypass the covenant and permanently move Burscough out of the town.

However, things could get even worse for Burscough because of the added cost of renting Skelmersdale’s ground. With crowds of around 150 expected to drop dramatically once the club is no longer playing in Burscough, the club’s days seem numbered.

The club’s website has been removed, with only a sign stating it is ‘under construction’ in its place as fans await the owner’s future plans for the club.

Fans are already in discussions about the possibility of a new Burscough team owned by the fans after seeing their team, which won the FA Trophy as recently as 2005, ripped away from the village it serves.

A member of the Supporter’s Club says ‘wheels are in motion’ to create a new supporter-owned club, and talks have begun with Supporters Direct, an organisation which advises on setting up and running football trusts.

Property developers Chequer bought the club last year when it was struggling financially. Chequer had already bought the rights to build on Victoria Park and completed a takeover of the club when previous owner Chris Lloyd.

Chequer Properties originally promised no intervention in the playing side of the club, but have already sacked manager Andy Gray in February to the dismay of the supporters.

Chris Stammers, Gray’s replacement, was forced to deal with player sales as the club struggled in the Evo Stik Premier and were relegated to the First Division this season.


Yet again another good honest club being ripped apart by greedy owners. Clearly just trying to make a quick buck from the now, ex ground.
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West Hampshire B...
post May 16 2011, 12:13 PM
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Are we able to play a team in the same league in pre-season. Would be the right thing to if we could, although I doubt that the current 'owners' would agree to it.
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a view from outs...
post May 16 2011, 12:26 PM
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this has been circulating the web for a few days-

Posted: 12 May 2011 04:56 PM [ Ignore ]

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Joined 2011-01-05 I hate to pss everyone off with a moan, but I don’t know where else to post this.

The team that I have supported for 20 years, Burscough Football Club, has today signed an agreement to ground-share with Skelmersdale United for the next season. The Chairman and the Treasurer have both been fired by the owners and replaced with one of the owner’s sons. The owners are a company called Chequer Properties, who bought the club for a pittance when the former owner was on his deathbed, and they bought the club with the sole purpose of selling the ground for housing. A covenant exists on the ground that states that there must always be a facility to play football on within the grounds of the village if the existing site is sold for another purpose, but Chequer are trying to get this covenant lifted via an army of lawyers so that they can avoid the cost of building a new ground.

Burscough is a tiny, tiny club, in a tiny village in west Lancashire. It has a population of 8,000 but we recently spent two years in the Conference North. This was not due to any big-spending chairmen, but a decent core of players who went unpaid when our previous owner developed a serious, and ultimately fatal, illness. We all banded together once the club was sold to Chequers, who stated that they had absolutely no interest in funding the club (they only bought us to sell the ground), and somehow, some way, we have managed to keep the club afloat in the 2010/11 season. We only get crowds of between one and two hundred per game, and the £500 a game it will cost to rent Skem’s ground (who are going out oft their way to accommodate us, all credit to them) will kill us. Once the club has died, which is now inevitable, Chequer will be free to do with the ground as they wish, with no legal requirements to a club that won’t exist.

I urge everyone on here who cares about football and it’s development to spend a couple of games next season at their local club, no matter what level. We don’t need any pity, we need hard cash, and nearly every club at our level is struggling. More and more people are forking out for Sky subscriptions to watch teams run by people who are obsessed with ripping off fans. If you get down to a non-League game I guarantee you a warm atmosphere, football played by players with bigger hearts than a Premier League squad, and most of all, a good time. If you go to a non-League game next season and don’t see these qualities, I will personally refund you the turnstile fee.

I am absolutely heart-broken, and even though I’m still at work, all I want to do is cry. I don’t want anyone to let this happen to another football club ever again.

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since 71
post May 16 2011, 02:17 PM
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So what would happen if other non league fans turned up on a rota basis,each home game, boosting the gate and stopping the owners killing Burscough slowly.They wouldn't be able to build on the ground without getting the covenant lifted,so long as Burscough are in existance.Each non league club could be allocated a weekend when there team was away.Make a league table of who brought the most.Take some organizing though.
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captain duff
post May 16 2011, 02:58 PM
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Sad tale. I was gutted when they were relegated from the prem at the end of the season as it would, like AFC Fylde,have been a ground 20 mins drive away for me to get to for an away fixture, and now it's looking like we will never meet. I know from reading local press coverage that the just sacked chairman and secretary have done great work over the years in developing young players and trying to be a proper community club.

The other aspect of this is that Wayne Rooney's grandad used to play for them in the 50s and I seem to remember that Rooney's younger brother was playing for them a few years ago -of course it would probably only take a day or two's wages from the potato head to save the club, but rarely do the premiership millionaires put anything back into the game so I won't be holding my breath.

Let's hope the fans can get something saved from it all (and I'm sure the CFU board will be able to offfer advice if they do).

This post has been edited by captain duff: May 16 2011, 02:59 PM


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Mike Griffiths
post May 16 2011, 04:44 PM
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So basically the owners are deliberately trying to send the club out of business in order to build on their ground? And the FA do nothing? Typical.


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