The Newry City AFC Management Committee have released the following statement regarding their recent decision not to ground-share with Warrenpoint Town FC for the 2013/2014 season:
The management committee of Newry City Athletic Football Club wishes to take this opportunity to respond to recent unfair and uninformed criticism over its decision not to share Newry Showgrounds with Warrenpoint Town in the forthcoming football season.
Newry City AFC has an excellent working relationship with Warrenpoint Town. In the season just finished the Newry management committee was happy to agree to a request from Warrenpoint to use the Showgrounds to play an outstanding Mid Ulster Cup match under lights. Within twenty four hours of Warrenpoint winning promotion, Newry sent a letter congratulating Warrenpoint on their promotion to the Danske Bank Premiership where we hope they do very well next season.
After a traumatic period, Newry City is in the process of rebuilding and we look forward to playing Warrenpoint Town in Premiership football one day.
Unfortunately, however, Newry are not currently in a position to ground share with Warrenpoint Town, or for that matter, with anyone else. The reasons are as follows:
• The playing surface at The Showgrounds would not stand up to the extra traffic in the Winter months that would occur as a result of groundsharing;
• In order to host Premiership football a licence is required. Newry Showgrounds does not have this licence because Newry City will now be playing intermediate football. The cost of acquiring such a licence runs to thousands of pounds;
• Newry Showgrounds is currently rated as an amateur ground. If it were to be rated for professional football this would increase Newry City’s rates bill by approximately 400%;
• The Showgrounds’ insurance premium would increase by approximately 100% if professional football were to be played there; and
• if groundsharing were to take place, there could also be potential difficulties around the scheduling of matches.
Yours in Sport
Newry City Athletic Football Club