26 APRIL 2018

The HCSA board met last night to consider a request from Haverhill Borough FC to share the main stadium grass pitch at The New Croft for the 2018/19 season.

This has arisen due to the success of Haverhill Borough first team gaining promotions within the FA league structure.  As a result, Haverhill Borough FC first team are not allowed under FA rules to use the 3G pitch next season at step 5 and require the main stadium grass pitch which complies with step 5 ground grading regulations.

It is well known that the main stadium grass pitch at The New Croft needs improvement, so the HCSA have sourced independent advice from the Institute of Groundsmanship.  Their report received this week identified that the pitch would not cope with extra usage and the need to spend many thousands of pounds on the pitch, money which would need to be spent before and during the season, and which neither HCSA or Haverhill Borough can afford.

The HCSA will continue the work to ensure we improve the playing surface for our current users for the 2018/19 season and it does have plans longer term to provide a second 3G pitch due to the demand of increased participation within the local area and the fact we have so many limitations due to the clay-based ground surface at The New Croft.

The HCSA currently provide facilities for over 55 local teams, a hugely important aspect of our community involvement.  To accommodate Haverhill Borough’s request to use the main stadium grass pitch it would mean having to move a current main grass pitch user to the 3G pitch which is already at capacity between 5-9pm on weekdays, so this is not practicable.

The HCSA have worked extremely hard to provide all its users a community 3G and then the stadia improvements that were requested by Haverhill Borough FC back in 2014/15 to ensure we could satisfy their needs to remain participating at step 6.  At present it is not practicable to consider such improvements that could ultimately disrupt youth and community provision that we currently provide at The New Croft.

As a result, the HCSA board last night decided that we were unable to agree to Haverhill Borough FC request.

However, the HCSA wish to work closely with Haverhill Borough FC to access the funding necessary to gain a second 3G pitch, together with ground improvements and look forward to receiving detailed proposals including development, business and football strategies from Haverhill Borough FC in the future.

 HCSA Directors