Just to clarify on the report in the Bolton News tonight and the Council announcement of a potential new school site on the Captains Clough pitches.

The Council approached us on the 10th August and told us they would NOT be renewing any lease on that land because of the “new potential project” which now transpires to be a new school. This left us in a very difficult position in terms of finding a short term home for 10 teams ranging from U11s to U14s both mixed and girls teams starting their season in September. Our lease ended on the 31st August.

We have been in direct communication with Bolton Council, our local councillor and Sport England/LFA in separate meetings. These early talks were to assure us of an immediate facility for the 10 teams using Captains Clough and our decision to reconfigure the Pavilion thereafter to make sure that every team at the club still continue to play and represent the club. We have at no time known that this was happening until that time.

We have had assurances off the Council that if a decision was made to build “the new project” the Council would have to provide us with 2 alternate better standard grass pitches with drainage or a 3G equivalent in the immediate area of the club base. However Sport England nor the LFA can come into this equation until any planning permission to build on Captains Clough as gone into planning. If this does this will trigger their official capacity in fully supporting the club. We cannot take no action until then and that’s when our membership base will have a big say in the future. Until then we wait until the surveys and groundwork’s on the site are completed and any decision is made. It might even mean they don’t go ahead with the project and they return the pitches back to us. The Council have already assured us that The Pavilion side will not be touched and our long term lease will continue.

Can we be absolutely clear that despite what the report states we have had no discussion with the Council or the project trust about what the project was as they would not disclose, no discussions on parking, a winter training all weather pitch, changing rooms or how this would fit into Moss Bank Junior Football Club and the community. We pride ourselves on having good community relationships. We fully understand the worries of those houses directly facing the back of the Pavilion and Captains Clough in the area. Some of these are current and past members of Moss Bank JFC. We have special trusting relationships with these people and this transparency is what we aim to continue to do. We have always maintained our pitches to the highest condition and have prided ourselves as having a superb facility for the 500 young people of the area not only with football but other sport.

For us we have to think of a short term pain is a long term gain. One of the main worries as a committee and club was to lose that identity and move teams out to other areas of Bolton and not feel part of the club. This will not happen. They are our DNA! All the older teams have been at this club since 5 year old and we will not allow us to be divided. We will keep you all fully updated of any news going forward but we could not officially announce anything until the Council did their official announcement. You as members are our blood line of this wonderful club and we need to STICK together as we will need each other in the future. Please do not speculate on Social Media because as a club we are fully aware and in complete discussions with all parties #upthebank