Police want Town to cough up debt
5:30am Thursday 14th August 2014 in By Mike Benke, @Michael_Benke
IT IS believed Swindon Town Football Club owe thousands of pounds 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 to Wiltshire Police and covers 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 the police and the club have confirmed discussions have taken place but neither denied the debt or said when any money would be paid.
A Wiltshire Police spokesman said: “Wiltshire Police remain in discussion with Swindon Town Football Club regarding unpaid funds.
“We are hopeful that this situation will be resolved as soon as possible.
“It would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.”
Last week it is believed that Town officials said they would have the money paid by the first home game of the season but nothing materialised.
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.”
It is understood further discussions are to take place later this week.
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.
The news of debt comes following a strong start to the season for Swindon with back-to -back wins.
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