The secretary of Wellingborough Town has admitted the club’s future is in serious jeopardy if they are forced to leave the Dog & Duck stadium.
But Mick Walden insists the Doughboys remain “hopeful” of resolving the situation after it was revealed this morning that their landlord, Alper Ozdogan, has invoked a clause within the lease which will force them to leave the site by May 31 next year.
Next year will mark the 150th anniversary of football being played in Wellingborough but the town’s club and AFC Rushden & Diamonds, who have a ground share agreement at the Dog & Duck, are now facing the prospect of being made homeless.
In a joint-statement this morning, Diamonds confirmed they will now look to “secure an alternative ground share agreement within the local area”.
But should no resolution be found at the Dog & Duck, it could spell the end for the Doughboys who are currently preparing for a ChromaSport & Trophies United Counties League Premier Division campaign.
“There is a break clause for June of every year within the lease that, if invoked, gives us a year’s notice,” Walden said.
“The situation at the moment is that there the clause has been invoked but we have got to the stage where we need to carry out crucial maintenance work and neither us or Diamonds wish to put up the money for that to be done if we are going to be out in 12 months.
“Diamonds had their annual meeting last night (Wednesday) during which they had to tell their members about the situation and that’s why both clubs agreed to a statement today so that everyone is clear about things.
“We are very hopeful that it can be resolved. But, as it stands, we will have to be off the site by the end of May next year.
“As far as Wellingborough Town is concerned, it will be a serious situation if it can’t be resolved.
“A club like Diamonds, with the support they have, would be able to find somewhere else we they could support Step 4 football.
“But, without that level of backing, there’s no way we could support UCL football. However, we remain hopeful that things will improve.”