Thursday 11th August 2005

Margate's finances "sorted"

Troubled Margate Football Club has announced that its financial problems have been resolved and it should be out of administration by September, reports www.bbc.co.uk/kent/sport

The club's woes started when it was deducted points and relegated from the Conference during the redevelopment of its ground.

It will return to Hartsdown Park this season for the first time since 2002.

Director Keith Piper said: "It really is a new beginning... I am confident that everything is now sorted."

He added: "We learned last Friday that the creditors have accepted the offer put forward to them by the administrators so we will move out of administration by mid-September.

"We're coming home and that's a fantastic achievement when you consider that when we went into administration in the first week of May, this ground was still a pile of rubble.

Margate supporter John Redpath said it will be a "fantastic honour" to be back home for the new season.

"It's about time we're back at Hartsdown. We should be playing in Margate because we are from Margate... hopefully next season you'll see a brand new stadium here and it'll be spectacular."

Redevelopment plans include a 5,000-capacity stadium with a hotel and theme bar.

A temporary stadium and playing surface has been laid for the 2005/06 season in the Ryman Premier League.

Hartsdown Park had been Margate's home since 1929.

It was closed and demolished in 2002, with plans for rebuilding on the same site, but work stopped after a disagreement about ownership of the land if the club went bust.

Margate initially played home games at Dover Athletic's ground, then transferred to Ashford's Homelands ground.

As a result the club was demoted from the Conference because ground-sharing was not allowed at that level.

Margate's first game back at Hartsdown Park will be against Maldon Town for their opening Ryman Premier League clash of the season on August 20th.