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DISTANT VICS NEWSLETTER
NUMBER 156 30th JANUARY 2003
There is little in the way of team news for the Trophy Tie with Canvey Island.
There are still doubts around Shaun Came but it is hoped that centre forward
Jonny Allan will be available, at least on the bench, for the first time since
his car accident.
The game is expected to go ahead as planned with mid-Cheshire missing the worst
of the winter weather this week. Should it not, or should there be a need for a
replay, then the teams will meet next Tuesday at 7.45pm.
The big news this week, is rather obviously, Wilson Connolly (Wilcon Homes)
success in winning their appeal against the refusal of planning permission for
housing on The Drill Field. The feeling in the club is that things are starting
to move at last.
There will be a period of 6 weeks in which anyone can lodge an appeal in the
High Court against the ruling, but then, if nothing more is heard, the sale of
the Drill Field will then go ahead. Clive Penny, a shareholder and long time
opponent of the move, has appealed for members of the Drill Field Trust to take
their money out of the club and help to fund such an appeal. However, since the
move from the Drill Field to our temporary home in Wincham Park membership of
the Trust has started growing again in anticipation of the move to The Victoria
Stadium, suggesting that this appeal may not receive much support. Assuming
there are no further hold-ups Vics will receive £1m in about 8 weeks and then
the balance, £1.25m, on completion. The Inspector, David Tester, in his written
decision, said that the continued existence of the football club is in the
public interest and that "if the scheme does not go ahead, the club and the
community would suffer."
In addition to the money from the sale Vics have received confirmation that they
are entitled to a grant from the Football Foundation of between £400k and £450k.
We will endeavour to keep you informed, weekly, of the progress. Initially Vics
will have 3 months, from receiving the first tranche of money, to take anything
they want from the Drill Field. The main thing will be to remove the Danebank
terrace for re-erection at the new ground. The offices and the social club will
have to be vacated and Vics will want to remove everything that can be used and
that will save them money.
It may appear that the whole project stalled after the planning setback but
there was still work being done in preparation. The immediate task is to
finalise the team of people who will organise the move and deal with the
building projects, completing the application for grants, the publicity and PR,
liaison with local bodies etc etc. The admin set up to enable it to be managed
effectively will now be firmed up and we can also go ahead with obtaining the
final quotes for the various aspects of the work.
Today, 30th January, saw the meeting of Conference directors and secretaries
where the implications of the Football League's reduction in ground grading
criteria was due to be discussed. This could have positive implications for Vics
in that the criteria for opur new ground may not be so stringent. No doubt the
proposed expansion of the Conference would also have been talked about.
Starting with this week's games Vics and Witton will have to charge for car
parking at Wincham Park. The reason for this is that Roberts Ltd who, 3 years
ago, purchased the land to the right as you enter the stadium have decided to
start charging £400 per month rent for Witton to use it. This land currently
forms the "home" parking area and some of the training pitch located behind the
popular side. Witton and Vics have agreed to split the rent between them. Given
Witton's low gates they will still be able to park most of their cars free on
the land they own at the other end, but Vics larger gates mean they will need to
use both areas. Given the financial state of both clubs they have been forced to
come into line with most other clubs and charge £1 per car for parking. If Vics
collect more than the £200 a month needed to cover their half then we keep that
The Tranmere v Crewe Cheshire Senior Cup semi-final to determine who plays Vics
in the final was postponed again this week and is now rescheduled for Monday
No winner on the Yankee again - this weeks prize will be £2,600. 8 trebles won
First Trophy match report out about 11.15pm