AFC Monton chairman Kieran Rabbitt has revealed his relief after the club was granted a new premises licence despite an appeal from residents.
The licence change from club licences to premises licence means the club can now serve alcohol until midnight Thursdays-Saturdays as well as being able to host two outdoor events a year.
Events like quiz nights and race nights are also much more easier to arrange with the changes for the amateur Worsley based football team, who play on Granary Lane.
Rabbitt, 59, believes that this change will have great benefits on the football club, along with the local Worsley community which benefits from events put on by the club.
He said: “It gives us more opportunities to raise money for club funds and to raise money for local causes and charities, which we’ve raised our game on in the last 4 or 5 years. So it will benefit the community.”
“It will be able to build upon what we’ve previously done. We’ve collaborated with the (Worsley) Rotary where before covid we did two fun days and raised £15,000.
“Within that we also raised £4,000 for a local youth club which is adjacent to the football club, if we hadn’t have raised them funds the youth club would have folded.
“So we want to build on that. We’ve now got the opportunity for a bigger fun day- revolving around football- we can now play live music which people love.
“It will allow us to maintain the money we need to keep the football club going, we’ve got 16 teams now so need funds for equipment, rent, electricity as a non profitable club. Equally it allows us to do more for the local community.”
The licence was not straight forward to obtain though. After an appeal was made by local residents, the matter was taken to Manchester Magistrates court last week, which the football club won.
Appeal overturned https://t.co/ouT2fWDZSG
— afcmonton (@ammiesfc) October 13, 2021
The whole situation was stressful on Rabbitt, who attended court on behalf of the club.
He believes that the main reason from objectors was based on mis-information.
He said: “I think the main objections where because they believed we were going to become a pub. It was gonna be badly run, loud, noisy.
“All we want to do is build upon what we’ve done. We haven’t had a complain made against us there in 26 years.
“All they had to do was come and have a talk to us- but they weren’t willing to listen at all.
“There was a lot of misinformation going about. Some people had a leaflet through saying we were gonna build a 5,000 seater stand and have a 2:00am licence every night. It was all rubbish but people hooked on to it.”
Another major issue was the costs, the club had to paying over £2,000 in costs.
Rabbitt said: “We could have got about 12 football kits for the kids with the money.
“It was very frustrating. £2,100 is a lot of money for us as a club and now we’re going to have to find it by other means.”
The hope now for the club is that they can move forward, for the first time in the clubs history they had an open age woman’s team play for the first time, with plans in place for a disabled team.