Bassetlaw Council have voted unanimously in favour of a £15,000 grant to Worksop Town Football Club.
The idea was brought to Tuesday’s cabinet meeting by council leader Simon Greaves, who told fellow councillors that the authority had to step up and help safeguard the world’s fourth oldest club.
Since financial backer Jason Clark stopped funding the club in May, around £90,000 has been raised through a membership scheme, sponsorship and the council’s grant.
The club’s aim was to raise £100,000 to fund the 2014/15 season and beyond, as they shift their focus towards becoming a community centric club.
Greaves, who along with local MP John Mann and other politicians have joined the #Team500 Club as season ticket holders at Sandy Lane, told the cabinet meeting: “They have established the 500 Club, of which I am a very proud member.”
“The council has looked at ways it can provide support to Worksop Town.”
“It is time to step up to the plate at this difficult time.”
“This is absolutely a sound decision and will give the club a strong baselines to build from.”
“This is the correct decision to take.”
Greaves’ recomendation was met with some opposition and concerns.
Coun Annette Simpson said: “I appreciate that Worksop Town is very important to the supporters.”
“But I want to ask the cabinet what they think taxpayers in the town will say if there is an increase in council tax next year? Will they find it fair ?”
But Greaves, whose report highlighted the club’s wish to involve the community and promote mass participation in sport, said: “I understand it is not an item of expenditure that we had planned.”
“I believe that when it comes to public funds this is absolutely sensible and that it is an appropriate use of public funds just as that it has been to support Retford United, cricket clubs and boxing clubs.”
“We need to do the right thing with the resources that we have.”
The cabinet then voted unanimously in favour of the funding.
Tigers boss Mark Shaw said he was overwhelmed with the council’s backing.
“It’s outstanding news,” he said.
“It’s a pat on the back for the people of Worksop and Worksop Town supporters.”
“The council is backing the club’s initiatives and projects with regard to moving forward as a community based club.”
“We’re trying to do new things with football in the community and I can only thank Simon Greaves and the rest of the council members for the support.”
Shaw expressed his determination to push through the club’s new ethos on involving local people in the sport.
“It’s important that we as a club make these things happen, because we will have done a lot for the town.”
Highlights of Coun Simon Greaves’ report to the cabinet
The Club is moving to a more stable self-financing model as opposed to being
predominantly reliant upon a singular funding stream as has been the case in the
past. In developing and delivering on a new financial model, the club intends to move
to a mass membership / mass ownership base. This will inevitably lead to significant
changes being made to the ownership structure of the Club.
The Club has previously focused upon the promotion and success of the first team.
However, it is now recognised that for the Club to succeed in the long term a broader
base is required.
The Club intends to develop a wide multi-sport, multi-ability base with community
sport and mass participation at its heart, providing participative sport opportunities for
local young people and work to develop a closer relationship with Worksop Town
As part of the recent changes at the Club the financial support would be paid via the
Worksop Town Supporters Society Ltd, and can be done so under the general public
wellbeing powers under the Section 2 of the Local Government Act 2000 (such
powers are now exercised in accordance with the Council’s general power of
competence under section 1 of the Localism Act 2011).
Key to the success of the football club will be management stability. The £15,000
would be used to assist with running costs of the club, and associated expenses for
the 2014/15 Season.
Worksop Town Football Club is a long established football
club that serves North Nottinghamshire and the wider region. Moves by the
club to a multi-sport, multi-ability mass participation model will provide greater
opportunities for local people to take part in sporting activity and lead a
The £15,000 can be met from the 2014/15 Central Contingency Fund.
In previous years the Council has made loans to both Worksop Town
(£99,000 – fully repaid in 2008/9) and Retford United (£50,000 was agreed in
2001 and £28,100 is still outstanding) to assist their operations. The original
Worksop Town loan was repaid in 2008, and the Retford United loan is still