Gloucestershire

Gloucester City AFC makes £25,000 'cap in hand' appeal

Whaddon Road, home of Cheltenham Town FC
Image caption Gloucester City AFC has been sharing CTFC's Whaddon Road ground for three years

A football club battling debt and an eviction threat has made a "cap in hand" public appeal for £25,000.

Gloucester City AFC (GCAFC), formed 130 years ago, says it needs the money to ensure it reaches the end of the season "in a solvent position".

The club also has to settle a £17,000 debt to Cheltenham Town FC (CTFC) with whom it currently shares a ground.

For six years it has been without a permanent home since Meadow Park in Gloucester was ruined by flooding.

Chairman Nigel Hughes said the Blue Square North club "desperately" needed to raise the money in order to stabilise itself.

'Reacted positively'

Earlier this month CTFC gave the club a month to repay the rent and expenses it owes or face eviction from Whaddon Road.

GCAFC later offered a full repayment but only on the condition that the ground-share agreement be renewed next season.

That deal was rejected by Cheltenham Town and negotiations are continuing.

Image caption Meadow Park in Gloucester was ruined by flooding in 2007

Now, in a separate bid for financial support, GCAFC says a £25,000 boost will allow the club to plan and budget for next season with confidence.

Consultant Colin Peake said Gloucester had "reacted positively" to the situation by revealing its cash-flow problems to the public.

"It is now that the club must go somewhat 'cap in hand' to those in the community, whether individuals or businesses, who recognise the football club does carry the name of the City of Gloucester," he said.

Only 142 fans turned out to watch Gloucester City in action against Droylsden on Tuesday - its lowest crowd for 10 years. Gloucester won the game 4-0.

Poor attendance, a weather-hit fixture list and the lack of permanent home are all blamed for the club's financial circumstances.

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