Tag: Weymouth

Night Terras – The Battle To Save Weymouth Football Club

It never rains but it pours for Weymouth Football Club. There have been unsavoury rumours emanating from the Dorset-based Blue Square Premier club for over two years now, and the club is now fighting for its very life after the collapse of a take-over bid last week. As some you may recall, at the start of December former chairman Malcolm Curtis had offered the club up for sale having transferred the land surrounding the club’s Wessex Stadium into a company’s name. The chairman of their local rivals Dorchester Town had been hovering on the margins, offering the possibility of a merger between the two clubs, though this seems to have faded into the background. Since then, however, developments have left the club struggling to just stay afloat. Curtis gave up the reins at The Wessex Stadium to a consortium of local businessmen and former club directors just before Christmas, but he has retained the ownership of the land surrounding the stadium through a third party company, Wessex Delivery Partnership LLP, which is backed by a company called Morgan Sindall, the investment arm of a construction company which, for the record, announced an annual profit of £71m at the end of last year. None of this bodes particularly well for the future of the club. Bills, reportedly contrary to a promise made by Curtis upon his departure as chairman, have...

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Reality Bites Revisited

We did the travails of Weymouth FC on here before, in January 2007. Things seem now to be going from bad to worse down in Dorset, with the latest rumours involving a merger with their nearest and bitterest rivals, Dorchester Town of the Blue Square South. Since January 2007, times have been tough for Weymouth Football Club. Chairman Martyn Harrison, a hotelier who had pushed the club’s wage bill up to £20,000 per week, resigned, having put the entire first team squad up for sale. That the club managed to avoid entering into adminsitration was little short of miraculous. Under new owner, Mel Bush, the club promised a period of more sensible spending, but debts have continued to grow. Having avoided the drop during the 2006/07 season, the club’s aim was for stability last season. They couldn’t have done much worse job in that respect. Bush lasted just months as chairman before handing over the reins to property developer Malcolm Curtis, and the club spent much of the season looking nervously over its shoulder at the relegation places before finishing in eighteenth place in the Blue Square Premier. This season has seen the team performing reasonably well, and they are currently reasonably safe in mid-table. Off the pitch, however, the club appears to be descending into civil war yet again, leaving the neutral observer to wonder whether they are...

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Rumour, Counter Rumour & Market Confidence

Another week, and another batch of rumours concerning the financial well-being of clubs in the Blue Square Premier. Fortunately, at least some of the rumours flowing around over the last seven days or so appear not to have too much meat on them, though they do help to perpetuate the understanding (which comes close to being a myth) that non-league football is in a perpetual state of crisis. First, though, we’ll quickly bring you briefly up to date on the clubs that we looked at here last week. On the financial front, it has been all quiet on the Oxford United front from a financial perspective, but things have gone from bad to worse on the pitch. They lost 2-1 at Lewes on Saturday, a first win for the part-time club that had looked like getting hopelessly marooned at the bottom of the table. Oxford remain in nineteenth place in the BSP, one point above the relegation places. Meanwhile, over at Grays, owner Mick Woodward has u-turned on his decision to stop funding the club, and they have played three matches since then, beating Wrexham before returning to type with defeats against Stevenage Borough and Cambridge United. It would appear that, for now, the club’s short term future has been secured (they have taken on a new manager, Wayne Burnett, from Fisher Athletic, along with two of his players),...

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Eastbourne Borough 0-4 Weymouth

Sometimes you get the feeling before you even leave the house that it’s not going to be a good day. A quick check of the internet had confirmed that “planned engineering works” were adding an unnecessary half an hour to an already tortuous journey (how can a twenty mile journey take an hour and a half in this day and age?) and, added to that, Eastbourne play in red, which is always going to temper my support for them somewhat. On paper, this was a fixture with a bit of spice behind it. Eastbourne Borough were unbeaten in all competitions this season and sit at the top of the Conference South, whilst Weymouth spent heavily to get into the Conference in the first place and almost bankrupted themselves in the process. They’re still there, but in 17th place – uncomfortably close to the relegation places. A clear out in January got rid of most of their most expensive players (and a manager, Gary Hill, who curiously lost interest when it became apparent that the money had run out), along with an enforced tempering of expectations on the terraces. Priory Lane is not an unattractive place to watch football – almost entirely covered and with two bars, one of which was pleasingly empty more or less constantly. They are also the owners of the world’s best scoreboard. The people of...

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