An own goal, almost scored by Ashfield District Council over an extension to a football-ground car park in Hucknall, has been cleared off the line at the last minute.
The council built the extension at Titchfield Park, next to the sports changing rooms used by football teams at weekends. And the teams were delighted, given that the original car park was too small for their needs.
However, their joy turned to anger when signs went up saying the newly-built extension was for council staff only, prompting Paul Burley, the chairman of one team, Hucknall Warriors, to brand the move “an absolute disgrace”.
Now the dispute has been resolved because the council has agreed that all teams can use the whole car park, extension included, for their weekend home matches.
“I am so pleased that common sense has prevailed,” said Mr Burley. “The original car park was a bit pokey and could get rammed on matchdays, with people blocked off sometimes.
“It had 25 spaces, plus two for the disabled, and yet when there were two games taking place, there were probably 60 people there, plus supporters, so many had to park on the road instead.
“Everyone thought it was a good thing that they were building a bigger car park, creating an extra 14 spaces. But then when it was finished, it was gated off and a sign was sprayed on the floor at the entrance, saying staff only. Why would staff want 14 spaces? Not one space is used on Sundays.
“My club pays several hundred pounds a year to use the pitches and facilities at Titchfield Park. Why spend several thousand pounds of taxpayers’ money on a car park extension that is reserved for staff?”
A spokeswoman for the council said: “We have spoken to the football teams concerned and advised them that arrangements are being made to open the gate and enable access to the car park. Parking has not been available here temporarily because the new car park had not yet been fenced off to prevent vehicles parking on the grass areas of Titchfield Park.”