FOOTBALL: Malmesbury Victoria launch urgent funding plea

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Malmesbury Victoria secretary Julie Exton, pictured during the flooding at the Flying Monk Ground earlier this season Malmesbury Victoria secretary Julie Exton, pictured during the flooding at the Flying Monk Ground earlier this season

CASH-STRAPPED Malmesbury Victoria have lodged a desperate appeal for financial aid so that they can afford to finish the season.

The Vics need to pay around £500 to cover the cost of their first team’s final two Hellenic League Division One West home games, which take place on Easter Monday against Carterton and Wednesday April 25 against North Leigh United, but a recent electrical bill has cleared out the coffers at the Flying Monk Ground.

Malmesbury secretary Julie Exton revealed that the club have just a £200 float remaining, with a further £500 and £300 owed to the club’s electrical and water providers by April 30 and May 1 respectively.

Exton is certain that the future of the Vics, who were devastated by flooding at the turn of the year, is in immediate jeopardy.

“I’ve spoken to Brian King (Hellenic League general manager) and told him that we were struggling to pay the officials for our last two home games – I was told that we’d probably receive a £250 fine for each game but I’ve got no idea where they’d get that from,” said the Malmesbury secretary.

“We had a £1000 electrical bill to pay and I managed to get that split into two halves but they want the other £500 by April 30 or we’ll be cut off. We paid the first half but that was by getting together everything we had and there’s also a £300 water bill to pay in May.

“All we’ve got left is the £200 float.

“I’ve spoken to the trustees and explained the situation to them but nothing’s changed at the moment and I don’t know where to turn.”

Exton warned that dropping out of the Hellenic League could be a very real possibility for Malmesbury’s first team.

She added: “The reserve team, youth team and ladies’ team don’t cost anything to run because they pay for their own officials but we’ve got things like programmes and physios to pay for, as well as the affiliation fees for the Hellenic League.

“Looking at it from a treasurer’s point of view, I think we could manage if we dropped down a league but from a football point of view, it would leave the reserves with nothing to work towards.

“I’ve said to the committee members time and time again that we might need to drop the pyramid but they’ve always said that they want to stay where we are.

“I don’t know how we can carry on – the club has been around for more than 100 years and we can’t let it fold.”

For information on aiding the Vics, contact chairman Phil Exton on 01666 825658 or 07912 346612, Julie Exton on 07595 725263, or visit the Facebook page ‘Malmesbury Vics Football Club’.

MORE ON THIS STORY IN THIS THURSDAY'S GAZETTE AND HERALD. FOLLOW US ON TWITTE @gazsport

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