EXCLUSIVE: March Town United submit plans for new �140,000 clubhouse at the GER

FOOTBALLERS from March Town United are already looking forward to next year’s Christmas party... which they hope to stage in a new �140,000 clubhouse at their GER ground.

The Hares, who have played at the GER since 1954, have submitted plans for a facility which would signal a new era for football in March.

They want to build a clubhouse - complete with bar, community room, medical room, kitchen, toilets and changing rooms - which would have a front entrance on Robingoodfellow’s Lane.

Phil White, March’s chairman for the last five years, said: “Next Christmas we could be having our party in our own clubhouse. We’re all really excited.

“This is for the future - for youth teams and future football stars of March. I’m getting old but this clubhouse could be here for years!”

March, who have one of the oldest wooden stands in the country, have not had a clubhouse since 1994.

The plans for the new �140,000 building emerged after a long-running dispute with their landlords, the GER Sports Club, ended in an out-of-court settlement in February.

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The feud resulted in a package which could see the football club receive �40,000 - to be paid in instalments - and a new 30-year lease from their landlords.

Gerry Roe, the club’s vice-chairman, said the designs should go before Fenland District Council planners early next year. The clubhouse could be finished as early as September.

“We can’t apply for grants until we’ve got planning permission,” said Mr Roe. “But we’ve had brilliant meetings with the Football Foundation, which has been very supportive.

“We are masters of our own destiny now. It has been hard work but we want everyone to know that the club is moving forward.”

March have vowed to make the clubhouse a community building and want to encourage other teams to use the facilities.

Mr Roe, who has been involved with the Hares for the last decade, said: “For the club, this is the start of a new era. It would be by far the biggest development since I’ve been here.

“There were times when we thought we could lose the football club altogether so there have been sleepless nights and this hasn’t been easy.”