Fisher FC may be tenants at their own new ground in Rotherhithe as Southwark Council has decided there will be an ‘open tender process’ for the leasehold, writes Alex Yeates…
The club will have to go head-to-head with other companies to secure the leasehold of St Paul’s Sports Ground on Salter Road if they want to benefit from the site’s revenue.
Failure to do so will mean Fisher FC may remain in a similar situation to the one they are in now in Dulwich where they ground-share with Dulwich Hamlet and pay rent, putting into question the club’s sustainability.
Ben Westmancott, Fisher’s chairman, said: “The council have told me that they will be going through a tendering process to find an agent to operate the new ground.
“While we understand the reasoning behind doing that, it is causing a delay in Fisher being able to enact our plans, rebuilding our club for the coming season.
“However, we are determined to work with the council to achieve the best outcome, which is to bring Fisher home officially and for it to grow as a thriving community club in a sustainable way.”
Since 2004 Fisher FC has been sharing a ground with Dulwich Hamlet at their Champion Hill ground, but have remained committed to returning home to the north of the borough.
Cllr Barrie Hargrove, Southwark Council’s cabinet member for public health, parks and leisure, said: “I am delighted to confirm we are now in the final stages at St Paul’s Sports Ground, Salter Road and will shortly be conducting an open tender process to secure a competitive management deal and the best value possible for local people.
“Its completion this summer will mean a new public park for local residents, as well as a fantastic new football facility for the community and local grassroots football club Fisher FC, bringing them back to Bermondsey in time for the new season.”