Football club says lease saga is leaving it in limbo

Mick Vines at Boston Town Football Club.
Mick Vines at Boston Town Football Club.

A long running saga over the lease of Boston Town Football Club is still not solved, with the club saying the issue is affecting their future.

The Poachers’ lease at Tattershall Road came to an end in November 2011 and the situation is still in limbo, almost 21 months later.

The club plays on because it has ‘security of tenure’ but without a formal lease in place chairman Mick Vines says he cannot apply for grant funding needed to fix his floodlights, may miss out on a ‘3G’ state of the art pitch for junior footballers and is not able to get on with improvements to the facilities around the ground to make the club more commercially viable.

The lights alone would cost £30,000 and without them the club is unlikely to meet the criteriato enter the 2014/15 FA Cup - a lucrative money spinner. The club will also need to provide a lease to the league eventually to continue to perform at the current level.

Mr Vines has now reluctantly agreed to a rent hike from £750 a year to £3,600.

He objects to the new value because the club has paid for the infrastructure and is responsible for insurance and is not paying rent until he has a lease in place.

He said his solicitor has advised him not to sign the lease put forward because there is an option for a part development of Tattershall Road by Chestnut Homes and he wants to see the details.

He told The Standard: “We will suck eggs and pay it but there are no amount of things that we want to do. Our hands are tied at the moment.

“We have got plans down there for the future. We like to class ourselves as a community based club and we would like to build on that.”

It has long been known that Chestnut Homes has an option to redevelop Tattershall Road and re-home Boston Town elsewhere but Mr Vines’s solicitor has advised him to check the full details of a part redevelopment and what impact it would have on the club.

Chestnut Homes managing director and Boston United chairman David Newton said: “I don’t think it is any secret that there’s an option on the Boston Town ground.

“We have always said that whatever happens it would not have a negative effect on Boston Town Football Club and that remains the case.

“We are trying to find a solution if the whole development didn’t take place where part of the site might be developed leaving Boston Town where it is.”

He said it is his understanding that the matter is in the hands of the landlord, Sports Fund.

Alan Jenkins, of Sports Fund, said the lease is a ‘confidential matter’ but that once it was resolved a 20-year lease canthen be signed.

He said: “The ball is in Mick’s court really.

“It is on the table it is just a matter of getting together and negotiating.”