Saffron Walden Town FC risk demotion unless floodlight improvement money is raised

PUBLISHED: 15:50 08 March 2017 | UPDATED: 12:39 10 March 2017

Saffron Walden Town FC could be demoted two divisions if they do not make improvements to their floodlights. Picture: Celia Bartlett

Saffron Walden Town FC could be demoted two divisions if they do not make improvements to their floodlights. Picture: Celia Bartlett

Copyright © 2017 Celia Bartlett Photography. All rights reserved

Saffron Walden Town Football Club urgently need to raise more than £7,000 for improvements to their floodlights by the end of the month to avoid a possible demotion from the league.

The lights at Catons Lane failed an inspection last month and the club has been warned that if improvements are not made at the next inspection at the end of March, then it could be banished from the Thurlow Nunn League.

This would see the club potentially playing in the Kershaw Premier League – where floodlights are not necessary – which is two divisions below the Bloods’ current level.

The club has organised a ‘pay what you want’ offer for Saturday’s game against Kirkley and Pakefield, where supporters can donate more or less than the normal £6 adult entry fee.

Ken Vincent, vice-chairman, said: “I think we’ll need in excess of £7,000 to make the improvements. That may not sound like a large amount to some people, but to a club like ours it is a lot of money.

“We’ve been told that if the improvements are not made by the end of March then that’s it.”

Jonathan Scripps, club secretary, said the club are investigating the option of setting up a crowd funding page to raise the money.

He said: “We just have to raise the money, these are desperate times.

“We currently play at Step 5 and a demotion to Step 7, without being disrespectful to that level, would probably see a lot of our current players leave.

“It’s such a shame that all the hard work that has gone into the club in the last few years could be at risk over this issue.

“We are looking into a possible crowd funding option but will probably see how Saturday goes first before making that decision. We’re just urging people to come down to the club on Saturday. If we get 250 people at the ground making a donation then we should be well on our way.

“We’re a family-friendly club and would love to see some new supporters down at Catons Lane to cheer us on.”

The Bloods secretary also revealed that the club has applied to enter the Essex Senior League, also Step 5, next season – which carries the same regulations in relation to floodlights.

He said: “It was unanimously voted by the board and makes economical sense in terms of where our players are based.”

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