Old Meads Football Club Resolves Row With Hounslow Council

Future of club now assured and all-weather rugby pitch to be laid at Riverside Lands

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Old Meadonians Football Club has resolved its dispute with Hounslow Council over the grounds at Riverside Lands.

The club had said its future was threatened by increased fees being proposed by the Council, which is currently involved in a multimillion pound regeneration of the Dukes Meadows.

Old Meads had said the Council's plan to change funding would force them to halve the number of teams it can run and would mean that Sunday and Youth football in Chiswick would be severely reduced.

The agreement paves the way for an all-weather rugby pitch to be laid at Riverside Lands Playing Fields.

The pitch is being funded by the Rugby Football Union, but agreement had to be reached between Chiswick Rugby Football Club (CRFC), Old Meadonians Football Club (OMFC) and Hounslow Council in order for the development to go ahead.

Following agreement, Old Meadonians chairman, Derek Barnett, said, “With 10 men’s teams and hundreds of children affiliated to the club through local youth teams, Old Meadonians is one of London’s largest and most successful amateur football clubs.

“We are very thankful that with the support of Cllr Steve Curran and his team we can continue to provide community football in Chiswick for the foreseeable future.”

The Council had been engaged in talks with Old Meads since FA Parklife pulled out of its £3.5m investment to transform facilities at the home ground, when the club refused to support the Parklife model.

Aston Villa star Albert Adomah had said that it would be 'terrible' if increased fees being demanded by Hounslow Council to allow Old Meadonians to use the Riverside Lands grounds at Dukes Meadows led to the club closing down. Old Meads was where he played as a teenager in Chiswick before turning professional.

The RFU is investing £1.3 million to lay an artificial pitch and also added additional funds which means they can play on it more often and share with other rugby clubs to expand the game. Chiswick Rugby Club have said they have been hugely impressed with the support so far from the RFU. At the same time, CRFC is to develop a major extension to the south end of its existing clubhouse providing six new changing rooms and other facilities.

Kelvin Campbell, Chairman of Chiswick RFC (CRFC) said: “I’m delighted to confirm the commencement of installation works by the RFU to create a new, fully floodlit, Artificial Grass Rugby Pitch constructed to World Rugby Standards at Riverside Lands, Chiswick, and acknowledge the invaluable support provided by both Hounslow Council, and the RFU in making it happen. It comes as part of a national RFU programme to facilitate growth in the sport of rugby and a greater engagement with local sporting communities. At the same time, CRFC is to develop a major extension to the South end of its existing clubhouse providing six new changing rooms and ancillary facilities. CRFC run four adult rugby teams, and provide mini rugby for over 200 youngsters in a range of year groups.”

Councillor Steve Curran, leader of Hounslow Council, said: “I am delighted that agreement has been reached which facilitates the installation of the rugby artificial pitch by the Rugby Football Union and other works by CRFC.

June 16, 2018

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