Alresford Town Football Club - Statement from NATC

New Alresford Town Council Statement in Relation to Alresford Town Football Club

We understand that an item on the recent Council meeting agenda relating to Alresford Town Football Club (ATFC) has raised concern in the town. We hope that this statement will clarify the position.

ATFC uses the Council’s facilities under a licence dating from 2007 that runs to 2032. However, the club and the Council have agreed that the licence is not fit for purpose and its terms do not work for either party. So in June 2021 we entered into renegotiations that are still ongoing. The negotiations do not affect Alresford Town Youth Football Club, which is a completely separate organisation to ATFC.

Under the current licence, ATFC uses one football pitch together with changing rooms and all associated services and utility costs (including heating and hot water, but excluding floodlights) for a fee of £75 a year. The Council estimates the total cost of the utilities and the repayment of a loan associated to the facilities to be around £9,000 per year. This cost is ultimately borne by the residents of the town.

Under the terms of the current licence, the Club is required to vacate the pitch between 1st April and 1st September each year. This is not practical for the Club, not least as it does not cover the whole of the football season.

One of the members of the Council, Cllr Divall, exercised his right to ask for an item to be included on the agenda for this month’s council meeting. The item he raised related to the licence with ATFC. However, he chose to withdraw it at the beginning of the meeting, so it was never debated and agreed by the remainder of the Council.

The Council would like to reassure residents that negotiations are continuing with ATFC with the aim of reaching a fair and workable agreement for both the council tax payers of Alresford and the football club. With good will on both sides, we would hope to bring this matter to a conclusion in the next few months.

The role of the Councillor is a voluntary position and the Council is always glad to hear from members of public in writing or at our monthly meetings. Members of the public are very welcome to attend in person or virtually. The vast majority of our meetings are conducted in public, however, we hope you will understand that we are required to discuss a small number of matters involving legal or HR issues in confidential sessions.