At risk: Ossett United's Ingfield home may have to be sold
OSSETT UNITED continue to consider their future options following a bombshell court order, but over £60,000 which is due today (Friday) will not be paid.
Two weeks ago, a court in Manchester ruled that Ossett Town were liable for the injury costs of an opposition player who broke his ankle from a tackle in 2015 which, combined with legal costs, resulted in a £135,000 order.
Town merged with Ossett Albion to form United in 2018, and the only asset held by the old club is the Ingfield ground which is leased rent-free to United.
The sale of the ground by Town is increasingly looking like the only option for the survival of the new club. Fundraising efforts have so far fallen well short with their GoFundMe page collecting only just over £4,500 as of yesterday (Thursday) afternoon.
With half of the mammoth court order due today, United won’t be paying as they continue to receive advice on the situation.
Chairman Phil Smith said: “We actually haven’t seen the full court order. When it’s sent to us we’ll have more of an understanding of the implications but we are aware that we are supposed to have paid £60,000 by (today). It’s not happening!”
With Smith admitting that finding the money through fundraising is now “a big ask”, the only realistic option will be the sale of Ingfield.
There is the fallback option of a move to Dimple Wells, which is owned by Ossett Albion Ltd and currently used by some of United’s teams.
Smith said: “The ground (Ingfield) is worth just under £3million. If it got sold the football club would have a lot of money but where would we play? Ossett Albion’s ground is not up to scratch at all, it wouldn’t meet the criteria that we need to play in our division.
“Do we invest the money in Dimple Wells, do we build a new ground somewhere else? It’s a massive challenge.”