City of Liverpool issue strong response to ‘ludicrous’ Bootle groundshare termination

City of Liverpool face a battle with Bootle in their groundshare agreement.

City of Liverpool have launched a staunch defence, refuting claims made by Bootle, after the termination of their groundshare.

In a strongly worded statement, the Purps took aim at the ‘ludicrous allegation’ made by their neighbours and described the actions of the Bucks as “gross injustice” as they now face a fight to finish the season.

On Monday, the issues surrounding the behind-closed-doors dispute were made public after the Bucks issued a statement confirming that the agreement between the two clubs had been terminated with immediate effect.

City of Liverpool were forced to play their derby against Prescot Cables at the DCBL Stadium, home of fellow Northern Premier League West side Widnes FC, last Saturday.

It was their reverse fixture against Michael Ellison’s side that sparked the initial uncertainty surrounding the Purps. Despite an initial pitch inspection scheduled due to the adverse weather, City of Liverpool said that the game had been postponed due to ‘unforeseen circumstances’.

Hours after Bootle’s statement, representatives of the club responded with communication of their own. In that, they claim they will seek compensation for the “significant costs” they will face for completing the final six Northern Premier League West home matches.

They wrote: “As our members are aware, we entirely refute the ludicrous allegation made by Bootle FC regarding a material breach of our Groundshare Agreement.

“A massive total of £65.42 had apparently accrued in a technically unclear clause, despite payments of £13,500 (plus VAT) made to date in actual groundshare payments this season. We are now in the position of having paid for games that Bootle FC will now not allow us to stage at Bootle FC in Season 23/24.

“Any right minded non-league football supporter will recognise the gross injustice of the actions of Bootle FC in preventing our club from seeing out its season, and the crocodile tears in their statement are abhorrent.

“Since we were made aware of this action by Bootle FC we have repeatedly made ourselves available to take part in the mediation process offered by the NPL (Northern Premier League). But, in the absence of such commitment from anyone at Bootle FC and an NPL deadline looming last Thursday dinnertime, we made the choice to hire the DCBL stadium to host our match v Prescot Cables.

“We have now begun to incur significant costs in seeing out this season, a season in which Bootle FC are contractually committed to hosting our home fixtures, and we will be seeking redress by whatever means are appropriate.

“Our club will not be stopped from playing football and we refuse to be bullied into unfair terms by any party.”

City of Liverpool sit 11th in the table after 24 games and have enjoyed a strong first full season under Paul McNally – which included their historic FA Trophy run. Their next home fixture will be against Runcorn Linnets in the Liverpool Senior Cup before they’re due to host Stalybridge Celtic on February 24.

The Northern Premier League declined comment following Bootle FC’s statement.


On Tuesday, the Northern Premier League responded, you can find the full story here.

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