Cambridge City Football Club can today announce a 3-year ground share deal with an option to extend if necessary with Ridgeons League Newmarket Town that will see City play at the Jockeys Cricket Field Road ground from the start of the 2010-11season.
The agreement will see City make a number of enhancements to the ground that will upgrade the stadium to a C grade by 31 March 2010. This will mean the Lilywhites can maintain the current level of football and if promotion is achieved the club will qualify to be a member of the second tier of the Blue Square League next season.
Following a preliminary inspection by representatives from the FA and Zamaretto League on Friday 29 January, the club is confident that work will be complete by the deadline. The main parts of the work will see the addition of a 125 seater modular grandstand, and a further two modular terracing units that will house a further 250 supporters under cover. This will bring the capacity to the required level, and with the additional capacity being modular, it means that they will remain the property of the club and can be taken to a new ground at a later date.
Other work deemed necessary by the FA ground grading team will see the addition of two new turnstile units, a new exit gate installed and a requirement for infill perimeter fencing. The club will be making an appeal for volunteers to come forward and help with this work in the next few days.
Identifying a suitable stadium for City to ground share at has proved to be a long and exhaustive process lasting many months. During that time the board of directors have spoken to ten football and rugby clubs in Cambridgeshire and the surrounding area and looked at almost every possible alternative. Apart from Newmarket, the only other option open to the club was Biggleswade Town and the club would like to thank their Chairman, Maurice Dorrington, for his very kind offer of support. However, consideration has to be made with regards the travelling distance for our fans who are the lifeblood of this club. With that in mind, Newmarket came through as the only viable alternative.
City Chairman Kevin Satchell said “The board would like to thank Kevin Grainger and his committee for their co-operation and support in setting up this ground share. I know that our Supporters Trust board are fully supportive and I would like to appeal to all of our fans to embrace the concept of ground sharing at Newmarket. The next 3 years will be a difficult chapter in the history of the club but it remains confident that with the support of its loyal and dedicated followers that it can pull through and lead the club back to a new and permanent home in the near future.”
Kevin Grainger, Chairman of the Jockeys commented “Newmarket Town are delighted to have Cambridge City groundsharing with them. The deal can only bring good news to the club, its supporters and players. City will upgrade the ground to a level C standard and it has been a pleasure dealing with their Chairman and board of directors. This deal changes nothing for the playing side, but does bring greater benefits for all”.
Whilst the club ground shares at Newmarket, the board of directors at Cambridge City will continue with the ongoing and longer term commitment to find a suitable permanent location for the club closer to home. This is by no means an easy task and a number of sites have already been considered and ruled out. However, we believe we have identified at least one possibility and this is currently being pursued. It is hoped that before the end of the season we will be able to provide more information on our proposals.
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