Lifeline cash can help Malmesbury club recover

MALMESBURY Vics Football Club may have to drop down a league to survive after becoming increasingly cash-strapped because of persistent flooding, says club treasurer Julie Exton.

The news comes just days after Sport England announced it is making £5million available for flood relief to help pitches recover and repair sports facilities.

The extra money would be a lifeline to Malmesbury Vics – if they are successful recipients – to help them continue for the rest of the season and to aerate the pitch which has been flooded numerous times since December.

Mrs Exton said: “The money would make a big difference to us if we got it.

“I’ve got so many worries with trying to get the bank balance in credit.

“I’m trying to get everything to add up and looking at the maths I know it won’t.

“I honestly don’t know what we are going to do.

“I am considering whether we should go from the Hellenic league to Wiltshire Premier because of the costs, but it’s a big step. But unless some more funds come in I can’t see what else we can do, although I know a lot of people won’t like it.”

Each game costs the club nearly £200 for officials and to buy programmes. With four games to play later in the month and little money in the bank it’s uncertain how the club will afford it.

Despite the costs, the club was thrilled to be playing again on Saturday for the first time in three months, winning 8-1.

Sport England has pledged to make £2,000 available in emergency funding to sports clubs, local authorities and community organisations for repairs to damaged facilities, such as pitches, changing rooms, clubhouses and floodlights.

“I have been sent the details and of course it is something I am looking into, to see if we are eligible,” said Mrs Exton.

“After the floods you get all the weeds coming through and we have to get the pitch sprayed because if you don’t the weeds set in for about 10 years and you just can’t get rid of them.

“It would be a real godsend and one big worry off our minds at the moment to know the pitch is sorted.”

Malmesbury Area Board was also due to decide last night whether to fund a new storage container to replace the current one which holds the club’s for-hire marquee.

Malmesbury Vics currently has pitch boards available for adverts for £200 a year and spaces for advertising in its programme.

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