Phoenix Sports Club in fight to redevelop ground

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A HISTORIC Bexleyheath football club is facing a race against time to fund and finish a £90,000 ground redevelopment or face a nightmare scenario.

Phoenix Sports Club’s senior first team are nine points clear at the top of the Kent Invicta League, having won 16 out of their 17 games so far this season.

Club officials have secured a £57,000 grant in principle from sports charity Football Foundation to help fund part of the cost to install floodlights and a 100-seater stand.

But they have just seven-and-a-half weeks to raise the remaining £30,000 to finish the project or face not being able to be promoted to the Kent Premier League.

Phoenix’s Vice chairman Steve House told News Shopper: “When the Kent FA inspector comes to the ground on March 31 we need to have floodlights and a covered seated stand.

“It’s very unfair, there’s no leeway on that, but if we don’t comply then we could win the league by 20 points and still wouldn’t go up. That would be my worst nightmare.”

Phoenix Sports Club, based in Mayplace Road East, has 38 teams from under-7s to veterans football and been running for 78 years.

Having received planning permission from Bexley Council for the ground improvements in 2010, an agreement with the Football Foundation to fund 70 cent of the project in March has been agreed and a deposit for the six floodlights put down.

He said: “It’s a big risk but we’ve been working on this for eight for nine years.

“Our football has always been behind our facilities but now the football’s in front of the facilities – it’s making me go grey.”

Mr House, 46, has urged the community to come together and help the football club progress to the next level.

“We’re really pushing for more under-sevens to come here,” he added.

“Like most clubs, membership really helps support us.

“The more people we get through the door the more we will benefit financially.”

The club, which runs a regular Saturday morning soccer school for 4 year olds to 16 year olds, is hosting a four-day football course during half-term.

The course takes place between 18-21 February for children aged 4-16 and includes a trip to the Emirates Stadium, the home of Arsenal Football Club.

The full course costs £55 and takes place between 9am and 3pm with £5 going back to the club for every child that attends.

To book a place phone Adam Woodward on 07800 733 429.

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