Come on the Bloods! Moves made to resurrect historic Saffron Walden Town Football Club
LIFE is to be pumped back into the Bloods after the town council stepped up its goal of resurrecting Saffron Walden Town Football Club.
Senior football has not been played at Catons Lane since club officials – citing financial restrictions – withdrew the first team from the Ridgeons League back in August, before a ball of the 2011/12 season was kicked.
During recent months negotiations to get the club back on its feet have failed and it seems likely that, having been formally charged, the Essex Football Association may endorse a suspension and fine.
The club will certainly be suspended for the remainder of the season.
However, this week a spokesman for the FA confirmed board members had resigned, paving the way for a new crop to come in and rejuvenate the historic club. An interim chairman – John Ryan, the most successful manager in the club’s history – and secretary have been appointed.
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Saffron Walden mayor Cliff Treadwell said: “After all this time I am delighted to see a new future for the club.
“Whilst it might not have seemed so, a lot of work was going on in the background to achieve the opportunity that exists now. We have been well supported by Essex FA and the Ridgeon’s League committee and I shall be there at the first home game of the season.
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“Investment must be found to develop the club’s facilities, but I am confident the supporters and new management team will find ways to raise money.
“With the council’s pledge to help in every way as well, the future looks pretty good from here on.”
A spokesman for the Essex FA said the suspension – which may or may not be applied – is in place to safeguard the football club.
“It is not a negative thing,” he said. “The suspension is designed to ensure the club gets back on its feet and operating in the correct fashion.
“We would like to see Saffron Walden get back at a level it can manage. The club is one of the oldest in the country and that is something for the county to be proud of.”
The town council is inviting all those interested in getting first team football played at Catons Lane to attend a meeting next month when a new committee will be elected to manage and develop the project.
Once this has been done, the club can apply to have the suspension lifted.
Town clerk Simon Lloyd said there was “no question whatsoever of the council going above the board at all” in its attempts to get the club back on its feet and first team football played at the council-owned facility again.
“The council is simply trying to encourage soccer being played again at first team level.
“It is for the new committee to take forward the decisions affecting the new club,” he said.
Paul Daw, the club historian who has taken on the role as interim secretary, said there is even a possibility of re-entering a team back into the Ridegons League.
“The league is very supportive of the idea although it is out of our hands,” he said.
“There is a shortage of teams at Level 6 and we feel, with the facilities we have got and the large crowds we used to get, it would be the right place for us.”
? Anyone interested in being a part of the club’s future should attend the meeting in the Saffron Hotel on March 1 at 7pm to register their support and interest.