AFC Rushden & Diamonds and Wellingborough Town are facing the prospect of being homeless at the end of the forthcoming football season, it has been revealed.
The two clubs are based at Wellingborough’s Dog & Duck Stadium, which Diamonds have shared with the Doughboys since they formed the club’s senior team four years ago.
However, in a joint-statement released this morning, the clubs have confirmed that a clause on Wellingborough’s lease had been invoked, meaning in them having to leave the site by May 31 next year.
The Doughboys, who play in the ChromaSport & Trophies United Counties League Premier Division, are fearing their eviction from the stadium will put an end to the club’s existence.
Diamonds, meanwhile, who have risen through the UCL and are now preparing for a campaign in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Division One South, are now looking to secure a ground share agreement elsewhere “within the local area”.
The joint statement said: “AFC Rushden & Diamonds and Wellingborough Town FC regret to announce that they will likely vacate the Dog & Duck Stadium at the end of the 2016/17 playing season.
“This follows Wellingborough Town’s landlord, Mr Alper Ozdogan, invoking a clause in the club’s lease which will force them to leave the site by May 31, 2017, hence also bringing to an end the ground share agreement with AFC Rushden & Diamonds.
“Since the original issuing of this notice in May, Wellingborough have held talks with Mr Ozdogan, but unfortunately no significant progress has been made.
“Both AFC Rushden & Diamonds and Wellingborough Town are especially disappointed with this given the hard work which has been put into upgrading facilities at the ground by volunteers from both clubs over the last four years.
“AFC Rushden & Diamonds are currently looking to secure an alternative ground share agreement within the local area, whilst Wellingborough Town feel that eviction from the Dog & Duck is almost certain to put an end to the club’s 149-year existence.”
Diamonds are due to be in pre-season action at the Dog & Duck tonight (Thursday) when they take on a Peterborough United XI in the Maunsell Cup final.