The Warwick row that seems impossible to heal

Racing Club Warwick Trustees Bob Dhillon,  Andy Cowlard and Anne Mellor. MHLC-22-09-12 Racing Club trustees Sep86 ENGNNL00120120922201001
Racing Club Warwick Trustees Bob Dhillon, Andy Cowlard and Anne Mellor. MHLC-22-09-12 Racing Club trustees Sep86 ENGNNL00120120922201001

It looks like a own goal may have been scored by Racing Club Warwick after the latest offer from the district council has been judged a foul.

After the seemingly never-ending battle to agree terms for the football club’s lease - finally sorted out last year - the fight for some form of compensation continues.

At least Andy Cowlard, chairman of the football club is calling for compensation. Chris Elliott, the chief executive of the district council has always refused compensation but last Friday did firm up his offer of a grant towards improving the club’s facilities.

After talks chaired by Chris White MP, attended by both sides and their solicitors, Mr Elliott had agreed to send one of his officers to the Hampton Road ground on Tuesday to assess the club’s lack of facilities - following the demolition of changing rooms early on in the dispute.

With threats of High Court action still hanging over the heads of both sides, Mr White desperately hoped a settlement had finally been reached. Certainly the district council subsequently received an email from Racing Club’s solicitor advising them a report due to go before the executive committee as an emergency item on Wednesday was a true reflection of the hopes for a way forward.

But at the last minute both Mr Elliott and Mr White learned the club trustees were still not happy with the deal. The trustees admit mistakes have been made on both sides but say the council officers responsible were professionals while they were simply voluntary individuals.

Mr Cowlard added: “The chief executive’s report refers to ‘matched funding’. This is only appropriate to subsequent improvements and works to be carried out at Hampton Road.”

Yesterday (Thursday) a statement issued on behalf of the district council said: “We are both disappointed and concerned that the club seems resistant to progress with moving forward and therefore chose to withdraw the report from Wednesday’s executive meeting.”

Mr Elliott added: “At the meeting last Friday there was no discussion about a settlement claim or particular sum of money that might be invested in the club’s premises. What was discussed was how to progress things moving forward and help improve the facilities.”

Chris White MP has expressed his disappointment.