England

Northwich Victoria left 'homeless' by ground sale

The Victoria Stadium
Image caption Northwich Victoria moved to the Victoria Stadium in 2005 after 128 years at the Drill Field

A Cheshire football club has been left "homeless" after their stadium was sold to an unknown buyer.

Northwich Victoria was issued with a notice to vacate their Victoria Stadium on Monday after the ground was sold by receivers to an unnamed purchaser.

The club has until 17:00 GMT on Thursday to leave the ground, which has been its home since 2005.

Club secretary David Thomas said the sale had left the club in a "very precarious" position.

The identity of the stadium's buyer is unknown and there was no indication as to what would happen to the stadium after the sale was completed.

The club's board had been trying to buy back the stadium from receivers Deloitte under the name Northwich Victoria Developments (NVD).

A spokesman for the receivers said it was "with some regret that we have come to this stage and it is clearly a time of great concern for the supporters of a club with a long history".

"However, after providing NVD with several years to find the required funding to acquire the stadium, this has not been forthcoming and so the principal chargeholder and their agents have been left with no option but to consider alternative offers for the site," he said.

Mr Thomas said that Northwich Victoria's chairman Jim Rushe was seeking legal advice on the club's position.

He said once the deadline had passed, the club would be "homeless".

"We play Saturday's away fixture, but after that, we're looking desperately to find ourselves a ground," he said.

Northwich, formed in 1874, play in the Northern Premier League.

The team were one of the founder members of the Football League's second division in 1892 and won the FA Trophy in 1984.

The club sold their original ground, the Drill Field, in 2002 and, following three seasons ground-sharing with local rivals Witton Albion, moved to the Victoria Stadium in 2005.

On Monday, the club's manager Andy Preece resigned to join Welsh Premier League side Airbus UK.

His assistants Andy Morrison and Darren Ryan also left the club.

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