Gosport Borough Football Club is aware of a growing concern amongst its supporters and other interested parties regarding the general situation at the Club, both on and off the field. The Club wishes to reassure them and address these concerns by issuing the following statement to provide a truthful and clear picture of what is happening. This statement will deal with each matter individually.
The Club only had 12 players available for Monday’s defeat at Poole Town. It is well known that prior to Christmas, Chris Flood, Jamie Barron, Adam Wilde and Martin Rice had all departed with the Club’s best wishes. Over the Festive Period a further four players refused to play, Dan Wooden, T.J Cuthbertson, Mike Carter and Warren Bentley.
Wooden, as is widely known, has left the Club for Moneyfields and does so with our best wishes for the future. The other three players are still officially contracted to us and remain Gosport Borough players at this present moment. The Club and the players are currently in discussions with regards to their contracts.
At Poole Town, the playing situation was weakened by an injury to Josh Carmichael sustained in the reverse fixture and having had it assessed, Josh is expected to be out for between 3-6 weeks. Ollie Bailey was on a pre-booked holiday and will return to the squad. Nick Jordan was also out with an illness and will return.
The transfer embargo, which has been imposed on the Club by the National League for the last two months, has been lifted, with the Club having fulfilled all criteria required for this to happen. The Club has signed four players this evening, including former Portsmouth striker Rowan Vine. The others are Harry Wedlake, Sam Lanahan and Richard Whittingham, with more to follow. They will be registered in time to play against Hungerford Town on Saturday.
The proposed takeover of the Club.
The current takeover bid by some local businessmen is ongoing but is subject to legal issues. They have considerable experience in Non-League Football and have been involved at various local Clubs. The gentlemen concerned have made a strong offer and discussions are ongoing.
Another interested party has come forward and Board Members have arranged a meeting with them early next week to explore the possibilities this presents. The Club hopes this meeting will prove to be fruitful. A third interested party’s bid to acquire the Club failed at an early stage last Autumn. Therefore, for the time being, despite speculation to the contrary, there will be no changes to the Club’s board. GBFC also wishes to make it clear that no Board members take any money out of the Club, but have instead actually put a substantial amount of money in, to keep things on course during difficult times.
The current winding up order against GBFC.
This will be dismissed at the scheduled hearing in the High Court on January 30th. Whilst the Club admits it was slightly late in paying the £2,700 involved, Her Majestys Revenue and Customs (HMRC) quite rightly have a watching brief on Gosport Borough Football Club and understandably acted. Another PAYE tax bill is due to be paid on January 19th and the Club can meet this payment. GBFC currently owe no money to HMRC with whom we enjoy a constructive relationship and there is frequent dialogue with our account manager. It is the Club’s wish to avoid any further late payment and subsequent action.
GBFC can further report that it currently owes no money to Football creditors, only to private creditors who had previously invested into running the Club. We can assure supporters and interested parties that the Club are in no danger of going out of business at this point in time.
However GBFC would like to explain that the Club had no home League games between November 25th and December 26th which caused a significant disruption to cash flow. Like any business that suffers an income shortfall this will and did, cause problems for a short period.
Portsmouth News story on Privett Park Lease extension.
The Club wish to comment on and explain this fairly complicated matter. There is a mobile phone mast inside the stadium, for which, a company named Shared Access, wished to purchase, 30 year rental agreement . To allow this to happen, the lease on Privett Park needed to be extended by 16 years to 30 years, however various complications arose. Namely, the fact that the lease was still in the name of the former GBFC Trustees, who ran the Club for many years, until the formation of the Limited Company which now runs the Club. More precisely, in the name for former Chairman John Stimpson, who sadly passed away in 2015.
The matter took nine months to resolve and Gosport Borough Council offered full co-operation. The access to the mast has now been successfully acquired by Shared Access for an undisclosed fee. Furthermore the new, longer lease, now in the name of the Limited Company, will also prove to be attractive to any further parties interested in acquiring the Club along with the ability to apply for grants. The Club refutes any allegations of wrong doing in this matter.
Dispute with Portsmouth News.
Dispute with Portsmouth News.
Both GBFC and the Portsmouth News, recognise the public, ongoing dispute has had a detrimental effect on both parties. Therefore both GBFC and The News recognise the need for discussions to bring this regrettable matter to an end and to restore the previously healthy working relationship between the two parties. Gosport Borough Football Club will look to restore the successful and healthy relationship enjoyed previously.
Admission Price reductions.
With immediate effect and for all matches to be played at the Aerial Direct Stadium in January, The Club has decided to reduce admission prices from £13 to £10 for adults and from £9 to £6 for concessions. Season Ticket holders will also be offered free entry to the two Cup matches scheduled to take place this month. GBFC recognise that January is a difficult month for its supporters bearing I mind the expense of Christmas and would like to make watching the team more affordable. We would also like to appeal to our supporters to get behind the team as they do their best to keep the Club in the National South and hope for a good attendance at Saturday’s home game with Hungerford Town. These prices reductions will also be valid for the visits of both East Thurrock and Maidenhead United.
Appeal for volunteers.
GBFC are delighted and fortunate to have some committed, enthusiastic long serving volunteers who help The Board of Directors with the day-to-day and match day running of the Club. However there is a shortfall, which has placed existing staff members under pressure and meant the running of the Club in several areas has not been as smooth as it should be. The Club have a variety of positions available for anyone who would like to show their support by getting involved and becoming hands on. These include turnstile operators, match day stewards and there are also vacancies in the Club’s media team. We will shortly supply full details on how to apply and hope that some supporters who may have been thinking about helping out, will take the step of doing so.
Finally, with this in mind, GBFC would like to pass on its heartfelt thanks to the Supporters Club, who, despite only having been formed seven months ago, have taken on the running of the Club Shop and been very successful. They have also sponsored players and Club Staff, provided vital financial and practical support. The Club’s Board of Directors wishes to pass on their deepest gratitude to Supporters Club Chairman Paul Maidment, his committee and the Club’s members for their hard work and dedication.