Ground war between Magpies and Terras

Dorset Echo: IN SPOTLIGHT: Avenue Stadium, Dorchester IN SPOTLIGHT: Avenue Stadium, Dorchester

A WAR of words has broken out between Dorchester Town and Weymouth over failed plans to groundshare at the Avenue Stadium.

Echosport understands the proposal was given serious consideration by both clubs, only for it to break down after a disagreement over terms.

The Terras’ board had agreed to fit solar panels free of charge (through a company owned by acting chairman Pranas Preidzius) at the Avenue Stadium as part of their rental deal but the finer points in regards to other revenue streams seems to have proved the sticking point.

Now there appears to be some confusion over which club actually pulled the plug on the proposal with Dorchester Town chairman Shaun Hearn and ex-Weymouth chief George Rolls seemingly at loggerheads over the matter.

The Magpies, who host Lewes in a relegation six-pointer in Blue Square Bet South tomorrow (3pm), hit back yesterday after the Terras released a statement on their official website on Wednesday at around 3pm.

The declaration from the Weymouth board claimed they took the decision to end their involvement as they felt it was no longer “in the best interests” of the club.

However, Hearn has since told Echosport that he emailed Rolls at 1.30pm on Wednesday, informing him that Dorchester were indeed ending their participation.

He said: “I contacted Weymouth (on Wednesday) and said that we had been talking about it and do not want to add any further uncertainty to their existence.

“We have enough problems of our own that we need to be concerned about, so it’s best for us to keep out of it and a groundshare is not in our best interests.

“We wanted to draw a line under it and reiterate that any discussions we have had are now null and void.

“Financially, I personally don’t believe there could be a deal to make it worth our while. However, we wish Weymouth every success as there are some good people down there.”

Rolls, who stepped down as chairman at the beginning of March claiming he was “no longer a participant in Weymouth FC”, was immediately asked for his response.

The Cambridge-based businessman’s family still owns the club’s majority shareholding and he reckons the board had decided not to proceed with the plans with Dorchester last week.

He said: “The terms were sent to Dorchester Town FC but they changed the goalposts in respect of the rates that were agreed and therefore it was not a viable option anymore.

“A decision was then made by the board of directors last week not to pursue it and both associate directors were immediately informed.

“Ade MacDonald, the chairman of the Weymouth FC Supporters Association, was also informed at the weekend that we would not be moving to Dorchester Town FC.

“The board did not want to go public with it until the fans’ forum on April 16 where it could address the supporters face-to-face, but after receiving an email from Dorchester Town on Wednesday it was decided that a statement should be released immediately.”

When contacted by Echosport, MacDonald, whose recently produced an open letter on behalf of the WFCSA calling for answers from the Terras’ board, added: “George indicated verbally to me in a telephone call on Tuesday that we were not going to move to Dorchester Town FC. However, he gave me nothing concrete to relay to the supporters.

“That is why earlier this week we came out again calling for some evidence on what he was saying.

“The fact the board is now looking at the club remaining at the Bob Lucas Stadium is very positive news and as ever we are happy to work alongside them, and anyone else, in order to help safeguard the future of the club.”

Associate director Nigel Biddlecombe was also asked when he was informed of the decision.

He said: “I was told on March 30 at the Swindon Supermarine game that the board had decided not to pursue the move to Dorchester.”

The Terras also face a crucial clash tomorrow at fellow relegation candidates Tiverton Town in the Zamaretto Premier Division (3pm).

And there are fears they may have to travel with a weakened squad due to another falling out between the club’s board and the fundraising initiative Wessex Fantasy Football.

A statement on the Terras’ website reads: “Nigel Biddlecombe has been informed by the Wessex Fantasy Football that monies for April will not be handed over to Weymouth FC as promised.

“The reason for this is that they are stating they want written answers to the WFCSA before handing over the money.

“The board of directors will not be blackmailed into a written response, and, as has already been advertised a fans’ forum will take place to discuss the future of Weymouth FC, and answer questions raised by WFCSA.

“The board will now have to inform manager Martyn Rogers that he will have to release players with immediate effect.”

In response, WFF founder Ian White said: “We are fully supporting and backing the WFCSA open letter and their request for all the answers to their questions being put into writing. In other words, we are uniting.

“This is a very worthy cause that all WFC fans need and they deserve to receive answers to those questions. We are also as always protecting our fans’ hard earned money.”

Meanwhile, the start time of the fans’ forum has been brought forward by an hour to 6.30pm but will still cost £5 per person to attend, which includes a buffet.

Biddlecombe added: “I expressed my reservations about the start time to George and he decided to bring it forward.

“As for the £5 entry fee, the club needs to get some money in to see us through with rates and things like entry fees for next season all due to be paid over the next couple of months. That is why we have decided to use the forum as a fundraiser.”

Comments (14)

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9:39am Fri 8 Apr 11

validus pica says...

It is completely irrelevant who pulled the plug first. The fact that Weymouth FC are forced to remain at the BLS in the shorter term ensures that the asset stripping process has been delayed a little while longer. This is positive news for the fans and community Weymouth Football Club.
It is completely irrelevant who pulled the plug first. The fact that Weymouth FC are forced to remain at the BLS in the shorter term ensures that the asset stripping process has been delayed a little while longer. This is positive news for the fans and community Weymouth Football Club. validus pica

10:00am Fri 8 Apr 11

MrTomSmith says...

Well I think Dorchester pulled the plug first, Why does the statement have the same wording on both websites? "will not consider a ground share to be in the best interest of the Club" Rather a co-incidence.
Dorchester you are well out of this mess, it would be impossible to forecast revenue, the rate we are spending on players we would't have anything to pay you, and I guess that's the reason why you quite rightly pulled the plug. It is impossible to trust anything Rolls says anymore. He was on Wessex FM yesterday morning to say everything was fine financially and then in the afternoon instructs the manager to get rid of players. You cannot run any kind of business like this.
As for the time of the fans forum, its still too late, 7.30 now 6.30 what is wrong with 5.15 ? As for paying to get in a fans forum, that is completely unacceptable. It's going to be empty George/Amanda or whoever is in charge!
Well I think Dorchester pulled the plug first, Why does the statement have the same wording on both websites? "will not consider a ground share to be in the best interest of the Club" Rather a co-incidence. Dorchester you are well out of this mess, it would be impossible to forecast revenue, the rate we are spending on players we would't have anything to pay you, and I guess that's the reason why you quite rightly pulled the plug. It is impossible to trust anything Rolls says anymore. He was on Wessex FM yesterday morning to say everything was fine financially and then in the afternoon instructs the manager to get rid of players. You cannot run any kind of business like this. As for the time of the fans forum, its still too late, 7.30 now 6.30 what is wrong with 5.15 ? As for paying to get in a fans forum, that is completely unacceptable. It's going to be empty George/Amanda or whoever is in charge! MrTomSmith

11:02am Fri 8 Apr 11

Exiled Muff Fan says...

There are a few misguided individuals on all sides here! How can you arrange a meeting without knowing the numbers of attendees up front? Surely £5 is not too much to ask to regulate the numbers who will turn up in return for sustinance and funds for the Club. Get real and get out more! Let's get behind the team and Club ; stay up in SLP and MOVE FORWARD
There are a few misguided individuals on all sides here! How can you arrange a meeting without knowing the numbers of attendees up front? Surely £5 is not too much to ask to regulate the numbers who will turn up in return for sustinance and funds for the Club. Get real and get out more! Let's get behind the team and Club ; stay up in SLP and MOVE FORWARD Exiled Muff Fan

11:20am Fri 8 Apr 11

Terrasfan says...

Exiled Muff Fan wrote:
There are a few misguided individuals on all sides here! How can you arrange a meeting without knowing the numbers of attendees up front? Surely £5 is not too much to ask to regulate the numbers who will turn up in return for sustinance and funds for the Club. Get real and get out more! Let's get behind the team and Club ; stay up in SLP and MOVE FORWARD
See you at Tiverton then.
[quote][p][bold]Exiled Muff Fan[/bold] wrote: There are a few misguided individuals on all sides here! How can you arrange a meeting without knowing the numbers of attendees up front? Surely £5 is not too much to ask to regulate the numbers who will turn up in return for sustinance and funds for the Club. Get real and get out more! Let's get behind the team and Club ; stay up in SLP and MOVE FORWARD[/p][/quote]See you at Tiverton then. Terrasfan

12:54pm Fri 8 Apr 11

mark@greenhill says...

So, 2 clubs only 6 miles apart, both in financial difficulties, cannot see the sense in sharing a ground to reduce costs.

Only in the mentality of footballers would that make any logic whatsoever !

To then descend into a slanging match along the lines of "he said this" "so I said that" really does neither of them any favours.

Security word = save-cash
So, 2 clubs only 6 miles apart, both in financial difficulties, cannot see the sense in sharing a ground to reduce costs. Only in the mentality of footballers would that make any logic whatsoever ! To then descend into a slanging match along the lines of "he said this" "so I said that" really does neither of them any favours. Security word = save-cash mark@greenhill

1:08pm Fri 8 Apr 11

Terrasfan says...

And now you have descended into it....
And now you have descended into it.... Terrasfan

1:56pm Fri 8 Apr 11

fishski says...

mark@greenhill wrote:
So, 2 clubs only 6 miles apart, both in financial difficulties, cannot see the sense in sharing a ground to reduce costs.

Only in the mentality of footballers would that make any logic whatsoever !

To then descend into a slanging match along the lines of "he said this" "so I said that" really does neither of them any favours.

Security word = save-cash
mark@greenhill, you show how little you understand about the separate identities of rival football clubs. Surprised you stopped short of recommending a WFC merger with Yeovil so that Weymouth fans could enjoy League One football. After all it is only 25 miles up the road.
[quote][p][bold]mark@greenhill[/bold] wrote: So, 2 clubs only 6 miles apart, both in financial difficulties, cannot see the sense in sharing a ground to reduce costs. Only in the mentality of footballers would that make any logic whatsoever ! To then descend into a slanging match along the lines of "he said this" "so I said that" really does neither of them any favours. Security word = save-cash[/p][/quote]mark@greenhill, you show how little you understand about the separate identities of rival football clubs. Surprised you stopped short of recommending a WFC merger with Yeovil so that Weymouth fans could enjoy League One football. After all it is only 25 miles up the road. fishski

1:58pm Fri 8 Apr 11

weypaul says...

Greenhill Mark,

It would make good financial sense for Dorchester but not for Weymouth.

Dorchester would have Weymouth's rent

Weymouth would have to pay rent

would have smaller crowds

Would have virtually no advertising income

And would still be respinsible for the outgoings on the BLS.

The only dubious advantage for Weymouth would be in avoiding the fictitious Health and Safety requirements being bandied around as a justification, but I would not give that too much credit personally. Too many noughts to be believable
Greenhill Mark, It would make good financial sense for Dorchester but not for Weymouth. Dorchester would have Weymouth's rent Weymouth would have to pay rent would have smaller crowds Would have virtually no advertising income And would still be respinsible for the outgoings on the BLS. The only dubious advantage for Weymouth would be in avoiding the fictitious Health and Safety requirements being bandied around as a justification, but I would not give that too much credit personally. Too many noughts to be believable weypaul

2:58pm Fri 8 Apr 11

Grampy No1 says...

Why are all you Muff fans worried? Next season you'll all be able to watch the Terra's for free when they are playing Dorset Div 3 football down the Marsh. As for the 'Maggots' you have had a lucky escape from these crooks
Why are all you Muff fans worried? Next season you'll all be able to watch the Terra's for free when they are playing Dorset Div 3 football down the Marsh. As for the 'Maggots' you have had a lucky escape from these crooks Grampy No1

3:09pm Fri 8 Apr 11

Terrasfan says...

Thanks Grampy always an interesting input. Now go back to sleep zzzzzzzzz.
Thanks Grampy always an interesting input. Now go back to sleep zzzzzzzzz. Terrasfan

3:37pm Fri 8 Apr 11

WeyDave says...

There is no Ground War.
Weymouth Board = George Rolls.
Rolls wants vacant "possession" of the BLS.
Nobody is going to Dorchester.
Well done Mr Hearn.
There is no Ground War. Weymouth Board = George Rolls. Rolls wants vacant "possession" of the BLS. Nobody is going to Dorchester. Well done Mr Hearn. WeyDave

8:52pm Fri 8 Apr 11

Old Bill says...

Personally I'd rather be castrated than to have to groundshare with those retards in Dorchester
Personally I'd rather be castrated than to have to groundshare with those retards in Dorchester Old Bill

11:58pm Fri 8 Apr 11

Fred U says...

Old Bill wrote:
Personally I'd rather be castrated than to have to groundshare with those retards in Dorchester
Come on down to the ground tomorrow, there will be plenty of retards happy to do that for you.
[quote][p][bold]Old Bill[/bold] wrote: Personally I'd rather be castrated than to have to groundshare with those retards in Dorchester[/p][/quote]Come on down to the ground tomorrow, there will be plenty of retards happy to do that for you. Fred U

6:04pm Sat 9 Apr 11

Old Bill says...

Plenty is not a word I would ever use to describe the turn out at the Avenue.
Plenty is not a word I would ever use to describe the turn out at the Avenue. Old Bill

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