Can Leamington’s football team be moved to Warwick?

Racing Club Warwick - no room for two football teams
Racing Club Warwick - no room for two football teams

Racing Club Warwick are threatening to scupper the district council’s major plans to relocate the Brakes from their New Windmill ground to a new site in Warwick.

Gary Vella, the vice-chairman of Racing Club, attended a meeting of Warwick Town Council on Wednesday when, as a member of the public, he told councillors they were in the process of lodging a formal complaint.

Mr Vella said he doubted the Football Association would approve of Warwick District Council’s proposal to move Brakes from Harbury Lane to Gallows Hill.

He said even though the two clubs play in very different leagues, to move Brakes to Warwick would contravene FA rules. This was because, inevitably, the bigger Conference North side Brakes would be likely to draw fans and resources away from the smaller Midland League Racing Club.

Towards the end of the town council meeting, when the public were invited to ask questions, Mr Vella stood up and asked councillors: “Are you aware that the possible relocation of Leamington Brakes to a site on or around Gallows Hill requires consent from the Football Association?

“And that relocation to this site would contravene the FA’s own rule which protects all football clubs - including clubs within the non-league system - incorporating the leagues that both Leamington and Warwick play in.”

Quoting from a copy of the FA rules, Mr Vella said he had already been in touch with the FA and would be launching a formal complaint because he believed association’s own rule book stated that such a move would “adversely affect clubs having their registered grounds in the immediate vicinity of the proposed location”.

n Racing Club trustees have still reached no agreement with the district council over grants or compensation for the loss of part of its clubhouse and the corresponding drop in income from functions. Talks collapsed last week.