Tuesday 11th January 2005

The Kent Website
Supporting Kentish Football

Margate's last chance

MARGATE Football Club and their Project Team have a meeting arranged with the key figures of Thanet District Council tomorrow afternoon which the club understood should have been the final opportunity to clarify any outstanding issues remaining with the redevelopment project, prior to the Officers report being made to Members ahead of Thursday night's Cabinet meeting.

However, the club have subsequently discovered that the report to Members has already been made and are in receipt of a copy.

The future of the club will be decided once and for all by the Cabinet on Thursday evening when they make their final decision on the recommendations of the Council Officers to withdraw from any further negotiations with MFC/Gary Lever and move to terminate the lease in order to take back the land into Council control.

The Council then propose to put together their own Project Team, their own development brief and offer their package into the open market for expressions of interest.

If members of the Cabinet approve the recommendation of the officers, the decision will immediately have the following effects:

1. The Football Conference have formally notified the club that unless they can guarantee to return to Hartsdown Park by the start of next season it would be in breach of the terms of its membership and would be immediately suspended from the competition. The club would therefore be forced to resign from the league and as such would not be able to fulfil any further fixtures.

2. The club directors being unable to justify the company continuing to trade under the Insolvency Act, would apply to liquidate their affairs.

3. Gary Lever/CNC would issue legal proceedings against the Council for not acting in good faith

4. The club would formally issue a complaint to the Ombudsman seeking an immediate enquiry into the actions of the Council.

5. The decision would signal the end of senior football at Hartsdown Park and any proposal being projected by Thanet District Council would see any new club being formed, playing at only county level.

A press conference has been called for 4:30pm on Wednesday, which will be attended by the Development Team at Hartsdown Park, and the directors will be faced with making final decisions on Friday morning after the Cabinet meet.