Melton Mowbray FC promotion bid boosted by council pledge

Melton Mowbray lead the Leics Senior League Premier and have applied for promotion EMN-150121-114732002
Melton Mowbray lead the Leics Senior League Premier and have applied for promotion EMN-150121-114732002
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Melton Council has pledged to help Melton Mowbray’s promotion bid by giving them a ground fit for purpose before the looming FA deadline.

They confirmed work on developing a temporary ground would start ‘as soon as possible’ on land at the former King Edward VII School site.

The facility would house the football club until work is completed on a new purpose-built stadium, part of the proposed new sports village at the Burton Road site.

Melton are leading the Leics Senior League and have applied for promotion to East Midlands Counties League.

The council has allotted them a pitch and now plan to develop facilities, such as covered seating for 50 spectators, to meet the FA’s minimum criteria by the March 31 deadline.

On Saturday, Melton Council’s deputy leader Pam Posnett and people and place manager Ronan Browne met with Melton Mowbray FC chairman Sam Ellis and representatives from the town’s rugby and hockey clubs, who are established tenants at the site.

Mr Browne said: “Sam is going to go through a tick box with the FA to see if they meet all the requirements.

“I can’t see a reason why not. We have agreed where they will play and we will pay for those enhancements to get them there.”

Melton Council does not expect to take over the site officially until April and must consult Leicestershire County Council over any changes.

The work is expected to cost between £10,00 and £20,000, but Mr Browne was confident the deadline would be met.

He added: “We will probably bring in temporary changing rooms and, if we need to, will bring in temporary floodlights to get them through the season.

“We will need a barrier to go round the pitch, and are looking at additional car parking and other things. We will either hire or buy a stand.

“We will start work as soon as possible, but have to agree everything with the county council first.

“It’s all in hand; it’s going to work and going to happen. I can’t see any reasons why they will fail.”

Mr Ellis was cautiously optimistic having seen his club denied promotion to the East Midlands Counties League last season after failing an EMCL ground inspection at Hoby Road, Asfordby.

In December he warned a similar outcome could signal the end of the current club.

He said: “I’m quite positive. It looks like the council are really helping us to sort it out, and looks as though the rugby club are very willing to help, too.

“It is just the timescale that I’m a little bit worried about still. We only have a couple of months.

“Most of the boxes are ticked, but a few need sorting out.”