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    Zones Clarification  

    Tuesday, June 09, 2009 4:47:42 AM


    Having been asked by both our fans and press for clarification regarding the clubs position in reference to Zones we have decided that it would now be appropriate to clearly state the facts as to our intentions.
    For the avoidance of doubt, when the premises was previously advertised for sale the club did not make a peppercorn offer, but offered almost £200000 as an immediate payment with a further upgrading programme involving several hundred thousand pounds investment, upgrading the building to allow for the community use programme which we had indicated in our offer. A further £400,000 (£40,000 per annum over the next 10 years) in a fund available to the council for use of the facility to allow for community and social provision was also offered, (a total of almost £600000 in gain to the council). We feel this represented not only outstanding value to the council but a real opportunity to build a multi sports facility which would truly benefit a very significant sector of the community within Clackmannanshire and beyond providing facilities which are not currently on offer.
    Obviously we were truly disappointed at not being successful in our bid but understand completely that the Council had to make a decision as to what they believed was the best offer for the people of Clackmannanshire, which obviously was not the football club bid. 
    However what has subsequently surprised the club is that NO formal contact has been made by the council to the club following the preferred bidder withdrawing from the process. We felt that at the very least some consideration should have been made to our offer and appropriate discussions should have taken place (we understand that this would be the case on any normal bidding process if the preferred bidder pulled out at an early date). 
    We would understand if the council would choose not to have considered our offer after entering into some form of discussions, albeit exploratory, however when it is a question of public process we believed that the unsuccessful bids should have been put forward as the best bids available.
    All the club can say is that we have always made it known that we are keen to build further on the community use that is currently taking place at recreation park and viewed Zones as an excellent opportunity to do so.
    Having built from a very low base two years ago we now see 2000 users per week on average using recreation park from the very youngest, with our tiny tots football, our girls programme, homeless programme, schools programme, youth programme and of course our senior football. 
    While the failure to secure an opportunity to extend this by expanding further into Zones, will obviously inhibit the rate at which we can build upon this growth, we can assure all of those involved in our programmes and all stake holders that we intend to continue to build to serve our community to the very best of our ability.
    Having invested significantly in both time and financial resources to date to try and secure this opportunity we find that more than 18 months down the road we are no further forward. We are frustrated at the lack of apparent consideration we believe should have been afforded to any bidder over these 18 months and this leads us to a position where we see little value in any further attempt in trying to secure this site to allow for community expansion. 
    The council’s lack of response would obviously indicate that the football club bid is not what they are looking for. And importantly as any alternative bidder will obviously know what our bid was, we see no value in resubmitting to any council bid process.
    It is with regret that we find ourselves in this position but again would emphasise to all who are involved with Alloa F.C. that we will be working on new programmes over the coming twelve months to build further on our community use. We would also like to state that while we are surprised at the lack of interest the council has given towards our project and more than a little frustrated that no formal contact has been made with a view to promoting it, once again we do value the joint working that takes place between the Councils Sports Development Services and all other stakeholders with the club which has helped us to build to the position we are in now.
    Finally the club would emphasise that Zones was always viewed by the club as a social/community provision and that the best case, financially, was a breakeven, self funding project. The real payback from the project would not be financial but in the expanded and improved provision to the community. Indeed If the Club was looking at projects designed to produce a financial return on the money invested, then Zones would have been considerably down the list. 
    We hope this clarifies the position to yourselves and thank you for your interest in this matter.
    Alloa FC
    Official spokesman

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