MEMBERS of Colne Cricket Club have appealed to people and businesses in the town to lend their support to new fund-raising ventures which have been launched by the Horsfield club - or run the risk of it closing down.
The club is facing major financial outgoings to settle two debts - and the management committee warned the annual meeting on Thursday night that without an urgent long-term injection of cash, these could lead to its closure.
A club spokesman said: “Both matters are currently the subject of discussions to avoid them having to go to court. There is a real fear that the outgoings will put a burden on the club’s ability to pay.
“There is a feeling in the membership that these, together with other debts, general running costs and the number of pubs and clubs that are closing down, that the club could find it difficult to survive in its present form.
“The club is asking for long term help from people in any way they can offer.”
The club has recently launched four new schemes to raise cash:
Life membership at £1,000 - two people have already taken this out.
A 100 Club draw offering a weekly cash prize for a £1.25 entry fee.
Weekly donations by direct debit.
The annual general meeting heard that all four had got off to an encouraging start.
The balance sheet presented to members at the meeting showed the club made a loss of £4,821 in the year to September.
In a report to members, the club committee said: “Given the difficult and challenging times and the major morale setback of legal action, the management committee considers the position to be remarkable.”
Club president Gary Little said: “It is important that we realise we are here to provide a service to the community and to the younger generation and this requires everyone pulling in the same direction. We will always be grateful for any help to make the club run better. Morale has taken a huge battering recently and we are going to have to address this professionally.”
A report from the management committee thanked local businesses for sponsorship and donations and praised Sue Smith and the bar staff for the “excellent” progress the bar and function room had made over the last 12 months.
“They have demonstrated a great deal of energy and enthusiasm and once again without them we would not be able to function,” said the report.
l On the field, the year was a good one for the club - its young first team upset the odds by winning the Lancashire League’s Worsley Cup by defeating runaway champions Ramsbottom on their own ground, its first triumph in the competition since 1999 and a day chairman Trevor Lonsdale said was one of the proudest he had ever had in his long association with the club.