Shock as Blue Star face end of road

THE demise of Newcastle Blue Star could be announced within the next few days unless an arrangement can be made with the Football Stadia Improvement Fund (FSIF), which is demanding the repayment of £65,000.

THE demise of Newcastle Blue Star could be announced within the next few days unless an arrangement can be made with the Football Stadia Improvement Fund (FSIF), which is demanding the repayment of £65,000.

The shock news comes only a week after the Tynesiders gained promotion to the UniBond League Premier Division in what was only their second season in the competition.

Secretary Jim Anderson, who has been involved with the club for 21 years, explained: “During the last 10 years, we obtained substantial sums from the FSIF to improve the Wheatsheaf ground.

“In April 2006, we were approached by the Football Association and asked to join the newly-formed UniBond League Division One North.

“We said at the time that we would have to relocate to Kingston Park since we knew that, despite the improvements which had been carried out, the Wheatsheaf ground would not meet the criteria.

“The FA and UBL were desperate for a North East side to move up the pyramid.

“And there was even a promise of support towards travelling costs when it became known that Blue Star would be the only North East club making the move.

“In the last three years, we have continually explained why we should not repay the £65,000 which had been spent on the Wheatsheaf ground.

“It’s not as if the money is lying in the bank.

“The only way the club can continue is for the FA to sanction a ‘transfer of membership’ to Kingston Park but it is refusing to do so while there is an outstanding claim.”

Anderson confirmed that an emergency board meeting will take place this week but added that the future of Blue Star is looking bleak.

He said: “I don’t see a way out of the impasse unless the FSIF accept we simply can not repay the money.

“I’m not sure what their problem is, since the Wheatsheaf is still used by our Sunday team and over-40 side in addition to 150 kids who regularly are at the ground.

“The club has a great history and only last week we were looking forward to playing in a higher division.

“We have no debts but we’ve been fighting this claim for several months and unless there is a change of attitude by the FSIF, then it could well be the end of the road.”

Anderson feels the situation is so grave that he has advised players to seriously consider offers made to them by other clubs.

Journalists

David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer