Cheltenham Town: Gloucester City facing eviction from Whaddon Road
GLOUCESTER City will be evicted from the Abbey Business Stadium with immediate effect if they fail to settle debts of nearly £20,000 with landlords Cheltenham Town by the end of this month.
Cheltenham have not received any cash from their hard-up tenants since the turn of the year.
The Tigers will face relegation from Blue Square Bet North if they cannot pay money owed in rent and loan wages for winger Bagasan Graham as well as other sums for match day hospitality.
Robins chairman Paul Baker said he had every sympathy for Gloucester's plight, but the arrangement will not be allowed to continue unless they can stump up the cash.
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"Gloucester have fallen into arrears with their payments and unless all debts are paid by the end of March they will not be able to use our stadium to stage their home matches," said Baker.
"Before now they have been the perfect tenants and we have had no other issues with them, but we cannot allow this to continue unless we are paid in full and we can't afford to let it build up any further.
"We are not a charity and Gloucester have entered into the terms of a contract and enough is enough.
"I think their chairman (Nigel Hughes) has done a fantastic job and I have huge sympathy for their situation, but we have a business to run and they fully accept that.
"We have been very fair with them and I have spoken to Nigel and I know they are going to do all they can to generate the revenue, but it is going to be difficult for them."
Baker said an arrangement for next season's groundshare had been agreed but that is now in jeopardy and Gloucester must have it confirmed and signed by the end of March to comply with Blue Square Bet North rules.
"In an ideal world we would carry on helping Gloucester, but we are running a business and we need the money too," Baker said.
"I don't want to be in any way responsible for them being relegated or worse.
"I am not sure of the exact implications if they don't have a ground that meets the league's requirements, but I think survival for them is the most important thing at the moment.
"We can't subsidise them and they don't expect us to, so in my view this needs to be cleared by the end of March and they must be confident they can make further payments."
Gloucester have been playing at Whaddon Road for the past three seasons having previously shared with Forest Green and Cirencester Town.
They have been without a ground of their own since the floods of 2007 destroyed Meadow Park.
It was last week announced that plans for the redevelopment of Meadow Park and the construction of a £5 million community stadium were "on the brink of collapse."
â Gloucester City chairman Nigel Hughes admits the club are facing relegation from Blue Square Bet North: story, p41.