Horsham FC issue ground update

HORSHAM Football Club is ‘very close’ to securing a site for its new ground, chairman Kevin Borrett has said.

In a statement issued on the club’s official website, Mr Borrett said he understood Hornets fans’ frustrations at a lack of concrete news, but was adamant mistakes made in past efforts to find a new home would not be repeated this time.

The statement in full reads: “I am very conscious that the club last issued a formal statement regarding progress on its new ground plans last Autumn. For those within the club, involved on a daily basis in advancing the necessary arrangements, progress can feel painstakingly slow.

“For those not directly involved, but with the same passionate interest in getting things sorted, the silence can be deafening and raise feelings of frustration, doubts and even worries about what exactly is going on. Add to this our first team position at the bottom of the Ryman Premier League and even the most ardent supporter can feel disillusioned.

“I can assure you that every individual on the Board, and each member of the club committee, do understand how frustrated every supporter of the club feels but the extraordinarily complex nature of the legal documentation, and the sheer weight of detailed analysis required, is monumental and utterly time-consuming.

“This approach is needed without taking shortcuts, however attractive they may seem, if we are to realise our intentions. All that, together with our desire not to give our opponents to our plans an early head start, and the confidentiality agreements in place upon us, prevent sufficient detail from being publicly disclosed that gives the level of reassurance we would like to.

“However, since the last statement we have progressed a long way down the road and formal contracts are close to being signed. I cannot say exactly how close is ‘close’ as that is determined by the speed of response by others, but I can tell you there is a very strong will and desire from everyone involved, from the Officers of HDC, to the landowners of the site, our prospective development partners and The Holbrook Club to conclude the contracts.

“Once contracts are agreed, and the support of the club’s trustees (who hold an influential shareholding) is secured, a Public Consultation by way of a display of our plans will be required.

“Following that, the Planning Process itself will be detailed and lengthy but that is another very necessary part of the process that cannot be hurried and one where the club was rightly criticised by supporters last time around for inadequate preparation. That will not be the case this time!

“This season has thus far brought a fair measure of disappointment on the pitch and little real news off it yet I continue to be amazed by the level of continued backing the club enjoys from its loyal supporters. That loyalty and support is not taken for granted and, very soon, we hope to make good on the trust you have bestowed in us.”

In other news Horsham re-signed striker Dan Morris on Friday. Morris, who impressed in pre-season and scored three goals before being released by former manager Justin Luchford, joined Metropolitan Police before moving to Walton & Hersham, where Hornets boss Hugo Langton signed him from.

The forward was set to make his return on Saturday against Aveley but that game, along with a glut of others were postponed because of the weekend’s snowfall.