Sadness and shock at football club’s plight

Football.Buckingham Town Manager Dan Kingston
Football.Buckingham Town Manager Dan Kingston

MANAGER Dan Kingston, former boss Phil Simons and club supporters have reacted with sadness and shock at Buckingham Town’s latest plight.

The UCL Division One side needs to find a new home after landlords Sherm Properties said they weren’t renewing the annual lease.

Padbury United FC, who groundshare with Town, are also affected. They won promotion to the South Midlands Division One last season and club chairman Phil Smith is involved in urgent discussions with Town’s management to find a solution to the crisis.

Dan Kingston, who helped turn round the Buckingham’s fortunes with some sparkling results after taking over as new boss in March, said defiantly: “It’s going to be a battle, but the club isn’t finished and I’m staying.

“We are already looking at a couple of locations to find a new home, while groundsharing will be difficult to achieve as other local clubs are already using their facilities to the full.

“I believe the landlords are punishing us and it suits them to have vacant possession with an eye to development.”

He said he understood Buckingham University offered to buy the land last January for £300,000 so they could use it as a sports venue and allow Buckingham Town to continue to play there, but the landlords rejected that as ‘derisory’.

Former Town boss Phil Simons said: “It is sad to read of the club’s plight after so much effort has been made over the last 18 months or so – personally and by others – to get the club back on its feet both on and off the field.

“This was progressing well with hard but obvious decisions being taken to stop paying players expenses and reducing other costs and improving income. When the club forfeited on the longer term lease in early 2010 and had no choice at that time to move to an annual lease the position has always been precarious.

“In the longer term my view has always been that two football clubs in Buckingham are not sustainable.

“In the shorter term my personal wish is that Buckingham Town, the committee, players and fans join resources with their tenants of last year, Padbury United to provide football at Ford Meadow in the coming season and in future years. This was something I was actively recommending to the Robins committee when I sadly left the club in February.”

Many fans have been airing their concerns on the forum section of the club’s website.

One said: “We didn’t see this coming, did we? Relocate? Does this mean groundshare or build a new home? Who would let us share a home? Buckingham Athletic? Brackley Town?

“I’m baffled to know how this just came out of the blue like this.

“It’s a shame as we were all looking forward to finally going into a season where we can compete and be proud again of Buckingham Town.”

Another said: “Sad news. To say I’m shocked is an understatement.

“Why has the club been saying we are fine financially?”

>> Robins’ player Ashley Farmer has won the UCL goalscorer of the month award for April.