Richard Holden, MP for North West Durham, spoke to Nigel Huddleston MP, Minister for Sport in the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, last week and has followed that up with an email today regarding football in North West Durham.
Local clubs are clearly looking forward to being able to kick off again once the global Coronavirus pandemic allows, but Tow Law, Consett, and Crook Town have all raised specific concerns about their future in conversations with Richard in the last few weeks.
Tow Law AFC has been seriously affected by significant subsidence, which has recently led to the emergence of a crater in the pitch. This has rendered the pitch unusable as it is extremely unsafe and there are concerns that the hole will continue to expand. The Club have spoken to the Coal Authority but are seeking further assistance to allow them to return to football when they can.
In early March, Consett AFC reached the FA Vase Semi-Final for the first time in their history. The Semi-Final is currently on hold but the Club are keen to see the match take place later in the year, if possible. They are looking any help possible to ensure that Vase football matches are able to take place in some way this year.
Crook Town AFC have performed well this season and are keen to ensure that their results are not made null and void. They are looking for clarity about plans that have been made for football once the pandemic situation has calmed down.
Richard Holden, MP for North West Durham, said:
“I am extremely fortunate to have so many community football clubs right at the heart of my constituency and have enormously enjoyed watching Consett AFC do so well in all their recent matches – I was thoroughly looking forward to them reaching the final!
“I really appreciate the efforts everyone has made in putting their lives on hold during the coronavirus situation and I include all the football clubs in that. But I also appreciate that they are seeking reassurance over the future.
“I have written to the Sports Minister for clarification on a number of issues that have been raised. I am particularly concerned about the pitch at Tow Law. Once this is all over, I would be delighted to work with the clubs to host the Minister at any one local match.”
Richard has been in touch with local press about this issue and will continue to work closely with the football clubs over the next few weeks and months. You can sign up to Richard’s newsletter and hear more about the work he is doing for North West Durham here.