Football Row

Berkhamsted Living Magazine Berkhamsted FC

The row between Berkhamsted Football Club and Berkhamsted Raiders Community Club seems to be showing no sign of abating.

Earlier this year, Berkhamsted Raiders drew up detailed proposals with the aim of transforming the club into a brand new Berkhamsted Community Stadium. Berkhamsted Football Club were not happy about the proposals.

Keith Pollard, Chairman of Berkhamsted Raiders, said: ‘The project is not just about football. It’s about creating a home for the fast-growing cycling club, providing somewhere for the Rugby Club to train, somewhere accessible to all the local community shared by multiple clubs and sports.

‘In addition, Raiders has 1,097 members this season. We have 100 children on a waiting list for whom we are unable to provide sport due to lack of facilities. We also want to double female participation, but we don’t have the facilities to do this. We want the new Community Stadium to have real benefits for the development of girls’ and womens’ football.

‘It’s not a takeover of Berkhamsted FC; the stadium would be run by a Community Trust with representatives of sports users and the community.’

That all sounds great. So why are Berkhamsted FC objecting?

‘Part of the problem is that it will relegate us into a lower division as we won’t have the facilities required to be in the division we’re currently in,’ explained Steve Davis, Chair of Berkhamsted FC. ‘We also believe it will cause problems for the local residents who live next door, as there is no sound or light-proofing in these plans, and we have an issue with the proposal that the new pitch will be astroturf as there are many safety issues surrounding this, despite what Raiders say. Not to mention that this is essentially an attempted takeover of the stadium that’s been our home for 100 years.’

While neither side are likely to back down, it seems the dispute is set to rumble on for some time. Let’s hope that somehow they can learn to work together for the good of the town?