GAME’S OVER

Bellshill Athletic face the final whistle after 115 years.

Bellshill Athletic face the final whistle after 115 years.

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IT’S the end of an era for junior football side Bellshill Athletic as their boss has admitted defeat in his efforts to save the club from going out of business after 115 years.

Club president Paul Fox confirmed the club, which was formed in 1897, would fold within the next few weeks once what little money they have finally runs out.

And he has blamed North Lanarkshire Council for pushing the club to the brink of closure after they pulled the plug on at least three different ground lease proposals which could have given them a home base to play from.

FORCED

Athletic have been without a ground since 2009 when they were forced out of the now disused New Brandon Park stadium by former owner Steven McGhee.

New Brandon was built on the site of the former council-owned Hattonrigg pitch to replace the club’s old Brandon Park ground which was redeveloped for housing.

Mr Fox said the council had a responsibility to help find the club a new ground because it had failed to include a planning condition to retake control of the site and prevent the loss of sporting facilities should ‘the development fail at any stage’.

But he said that the council had dragged its feet repeatedly since negotiations first began in 2007, when McGhee severed his connection with the club, and had pulled out of proposals to lease land at Hope Street in Mossend and at Orbiston Bing.

For the full story and reaction see the March 28 issue of the Bellshill Speaker,