New lease of life for Boston Town?

Local sport from the Boston Standard, Lincolnshire: bostonstandard.co.uk/sport, on Twitter @standardduncan
Local sport from the Boston Standard, Lincolnshire: bostonstandard.co.uk/sport, on Twitter @standardduncan

Boston Town could be close to signing a 20-year lease on their Tattershall Road ground, but chairman Mick Vines says a rent hike is currently a stumbling block.

Landlords Sportsfunds have offered the Poachers a chance to remain on the turf which has been the club’s home since 1965.

But The Standard has been told that this means Town will have to pay at least three times as much for the privelige.

Vines said he would happily ‘sign the papers tomorrow’ - as long as Sportsfunds meet him half way.

He told The Standard: “If they want us to pay more that’s fine.

“But if they’re charging us more as our landlords then they have to act like landlords.

“They should also agree to pay for the insurance, public liability and upkeep, which is something we’ve always paid for.

“If you’re a landlord of a house in Boston then you pay for the insurance, it’s as simple as that.

“If Sportsfunds pay for that then we’ll sign the lease.

“We just can’t afford to pay both.”

Vines says the price of cover and upkeep stretches into the thousands.

He is now hoping to sit down with Sportsfunds and a representative from the Football Association to broker a deal.

The Town chairman told The Standard that the demand for a rent increase came about after the land was surveyed.

Improvements to the ground mean it is a more lucrative site, he added.

However, those improvements were made by the Poachers to fit in with UCL Premier Division criteria.

Had they not made the changes - themselves and without grants - then the club would have suffered the same fate as Bourne Town and been demoted.

The situation is a real catch 22 for the Poachers.

If they do sign the lease, they become eligible for more grants from the FA and other bodies to improve their stadium further.

Otherwise they have to foot the bill for improvements, including new floodlights.

“But where does that leave us?” Vines asked.

“If we make more improvements does that just mean the rent will go up again in five years?”

Vines also fears that if the club have to pay for their insurance cover, as well as a rent hike, they may not also be able to afford to keep hold of their top players.

But he wants to build the strongest side possible as he believes that is the way to help satisfy the ambition of managers Ian Dunn and Matt Hocking, who joined in the summer.

As well as the senior side and reserve team, Tattershall Road is also home to a number of junior teams and also hosts local league matches.