Seventh-Tier Dulwich Hamlet Urging Fans To Raise Money For Club's Future
Dulwich Hamlet, one of the U.K.'s "best-known non-league football teams," is "urging fans to raise money and help secure the club's future," according to James Caroll of the London GUARDIAN. The club, formed in 1893, is five points clear at the top of the seventh-tier Bostik Premier but "finds itself caught in the middle of a dispute" between Southwark Council and property developer Meadow Residential. Meadow owns the club's Champion Hill ground and since '14 has "contributed financially" toward the running of the football club. The firm's plan is to "build houses on the site and some of the adjoining land." As part of that development, Meadow agreed to build the club a new 4,000-capacity ground nearby and "help Dulwich transition to fan-ownership, free of any debt." But Southwark Council believes Meadow's plans "do not provide enough affordable housing and has taken court action to block its progress." The most recent move by the council was to refuse Dulwich Hamlet's request to renew a lease on the land next to Champion Hill, which is "crucial" to Meadow's plan. As a result of the "fall-out," Meadow said that it is "no longer willing" to subsidize the costs of the team, leaving the club responsible for all future payments and financial obligations, including the wages of players and staff (GUARDIAN, 11/9).