Buildbase blow prompts Lilywhites’ support appeal
Mossley FC director John Larner has issued a rallying call across the town to ensure the future survival of the Seel Park club.
The Lilywhites failed in their bid to secure a £50,000 bursary towards ground renovation work from Buildbase, sponsors of non league’s most prestigious knockout trophies.
Just as they did in the 1980 FA Trophy final to Dagenham, Mossley finished a close second when they went to Wembley last month to make a Dragons’ Den style pitch in front of Buildbase and Football Association representatives.
The improvement work, highlighted in an impressive presentation video, Liam Hulmes, son of secretary, Harry Hulmes, still needs doing to meet ground regulation standards.
With finances tight and low attendances, the Evo-Stik League first division north club faces tough challenges ahead.
Now Mr Larner says: “The local community recently backed the club in their thousands to help us reach the final of the Buildbase competition.
“And although we weren’t awarded the bursary, we were thrilled with the way the people of our town and beyond supported us.
“The bursary would have been used to bring the changing rooms and other facilities used by local community groups up to standard so they met ground grading regulations.
“Now, more than ever, we need the people of Mossley, Tameside and Saddleworth to rally around us and help the club fund the renovation of facilities that serve both the club and people of the area.
“The club is run by volunteers and we work closely with the local community including the disabled club, youth club, local charities and schools, meaning we are at the heart of the community and more than a football club.”
Lilywhites’ committee member Matthew Hayton says it is a case of finding a different way to do the work while building on the goodwill of the community as demonstrated by the support in the Buildbase competition.
Mossley are looking to businesses to donate materials and also trades people to donate their time to carry out the work.
That will entail improvements to the home and away dressing rooms, referee’s changing facilities, showers and toilets to bring them up to standard, a requirement for their ground grading.
Matthew explained: “Basically it involves everything beneath the main stand as it all needs upgrading.
“We have to do the work by the end of the 2017/18 season so we have a 12-month time frame.”
A failure to do the work would result in sanctions from the Evo Stik League, the ultimate one relegation for off-the-field reasons.
Mr Larner explained: “We need the people of the town to support us by coming to our home matches to watch our young, exciting team.
“If our crowds increased, we could truly reach our potential.
“Our early bird season tickets (£120 adults/£70 concessions) offer superb value while families can enjoy an affordable day out with under 16’s admitted free of charge.
“We also offer a superb range of sponsorship and advertising opportunities for businesses looking to reach thousands of people that attend matches at Seel Park each season.”
To find out more about our sponsorship and advertising opportunities, please contact John Larner on 01457 832 299 or email email@example.com.
The club also happily accept all donations, no matter how big or small and there are a number of ways in which people can help fund the renovations and make this a real community project.
This can be done in a variety of ways.
To the club bank account:
Secretary Harry, joined at the Wembley pitch by Liam and Steve Tague, said: “Thanks to all of the people who got behind us in the public vote.
“It was great to see the whole community getting behind it. Your local club really DOES need your help to keep going.
“I’m just sorry we couldn’t come home with the prize.”
West London based Hanwell Town FC took the prize ahead of Mossley and Stafford Rangers for clubs entering the FA Trophy. Cleethorpes Town FC secured a £50,000 bursary for clubs in the FA Vase.
Paul Roche, Commercial Director at Buildbase said: “The pitches from all six shortlisted clubs were of a really high standard and it was genuinely difficult to decide on the two winners, both of which have plans that offer the right mix of football and community benefit.”
The Buildbase Club Renovation Programme will run again in 2018, with a further £100,000 for two clubs.
By Tony Bugby (Mossley Correspondent)