Swindon Town pays up part of debt to police

This Is Wiltshire: Police escort visiting fans into the County Ground for a match Police escort visiting fans into the County Ground for a match

POLICE have confirmed that debts owed by Swindon Town are beginning to be paid back after a sum totalling around a quarter of the outstanding funds was paid yesterday.

Earlier this week it emerged that the club still owed Wiltshire Police a substantial sum for the policing of matches dating back to last season.

While no exact figure has been confirmed, the Adver understands almost £30,000 is owed, covering the last four home games of the 2013/14 season.

For games which are likely to have high attendance or with a history of trouble, extra police are on duty but some of the cost falls to the club.

Both parties confirmed on Thursday that discussions had been taking place between the two sides to resolve the situation.

A spokesman for Wiltshire Police said yesterday: “Wiltshire Police can confirm that we have received partial payment from Swindon Town Football Club for policing services provided by the force last season.

“We are working with the football club to collect the remaining outstanding monies due, and hope that the matter will resolved in the near future.

“The monies paid so far are around a quarter of the outstanding amount, and were paid to the police today.”

The club have neither confirmed nor denied the debt but said they are in talks with the police and are keen to maintain a strong relationship.

A spokesman said: “The club would not like to comment on this matter directly but can confirm that a meeting between club officials and high-ranking police officials took place recently.

“The club look forward to cementing their good relationship with Wiltshire Police over the forthcoming season and beyond.”

Further discussions will take place as the police seek payment in full for their services to avoid potential negative consequences.

A possible repercussion for Swindon not paying up is that the police may refuse to provide officers for future games, leading to potential postponements.

Town’s next home game is against Crewe on August 23, but it is unclear as to whether this game is in any jeopardy.

Not all matches require an extra police presence, such as last Saturday’s 3-1 victory against Scunthorpe, so extra time may be allowed for negotiations to take place.

Earlier this year, chairman Lee Power took control of the club following a lengthy legal battle at the High Court with former owner Jed McCrory.

Mr Power issued an open letter in July to fans in which he said income was down on the previous year because of the court case.

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