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Walsham warned to fix issues or face the axe

CHAIRMAN: Keith Mills
CHAIRMAN: Keith Mills

Walsham-le-Willows FC chairman Keith Mills is confident they can avoid a threat by the Thurlow Nunn League to demote them after being issued with a list of health and safety concerns that must be rectified by the end of March.

Officials inspected the Premier Division club’s Summer Road ground in November, as part of the league’s rules to inspect all club facilities on a three-yearly rota, and raised a number of concerns.

WORK TO DO: Walsham-le-Willows
WORK TO DO: Walsham-le-Willows

The club were told to carry out urgent improvements by a deadline of March 31 or risk being kicked out of the league.

Mills (pictured) had hoped the club would be given until the start of next season, to allow the club more time to fund-raise.

But they were told the March deadline stood, so The Willows set about raising the money and getting the work completed as soon as possible.

“We are very fortunate to have a good support network that have been prepared to work together to get this done with a very tight deadline,” he said.

“It is ongoing but the majority has now been completed and we are confident we will get it done in time.

“It’s probably cost about £4,500 which is why we hoped for longer, and it probably would have been even more expensive without our network.”

He said their sponsor, Clarkes of Walsham, were in the building trade and had offered a lot of help in getting the work completed.

Mills added: “We’re all volunteers here and I felt it was a little harsh with the timescale for a big project, and especially with winter.

“But we’ve pulled together and got it well on its way.”

League chairman Peter Hutchings said: “Walsham-le-Willows were inspected to ensure their facilities still met the requirements of ground grade F.

“Normally, these visits just pick up minor housekeeping issues but in Walsham’ case, they had spread gravel across their car park within the confines of the ground. This is not permitted under the FA’s ground grading rules.

“The league has visited a number of clubs (in each division) as part of this ongoing review of facilities.

“It is continuing to do so with a view that all clubs will be visited before the end of the current season.”

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