Blofield face �15,000 upgrade bill to meet FA guidelines

Six-times Sterry Cup winners Blofield are among the club's hardest hit by the FA demand for improvements, and face a bill of up to �15,000.

Club chairman Jerry Ware said extensive internal work was needed to reconfigure the current communal toilets and showers arrangement and create a bigger dressing room for match officials.

'From our perspective we feel we have got perfectly good facilities for the level of football we play at but we have been told that basically our facilities are wrong. It's not because we have bad facilities but it's because of the layout of the clubhouse.

'We are getting quotes at the moment and it looks like the work will cost from �10,000-�15,000. We have been told we are very likely to be able to get a Football Foundation grant of 50 per cent. We don't understand the March 31 deadline but we are doing everything we can to get the work done by then.'

St Andrews, who play at Thorpe Rec, face having to build an extension and a potential five-figure outlay while Norwich St Johns, based at Cringleford Rec, need to provide additional toilets.

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St Andrews chairman Wayne Harding said: 'We have applied for planning permission to alter the clubhouse and are endeavouring to make the changes. Even if we don't comply by the end of the season, facilities are available to us at the Morse Pavilion run by Thorpe St Andrews Town Council.'

Acle United, whose Bridewell Lane base is one of the most impressive multi-sports facilities in the county failed because of communal toilets for players and match officials.

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But co-manager Martyn Sinclair is confident that the football club, working together with the social club, can do the work costing up to �3,000 in the space of a two or three-week period. He said: 'We have got lots of room inside. Some of the other teams are going to be facing big bills to come up to scratch and there is a lot of red tape for a lot of clubs. The FA are being quite ruthless about it.'

Spixworth, who play at the Crostwick Lane Village Hall ground, are having to provide new changing rooms because the existing ones were deemed too small. Chairman David Wilson said two former mobile classrooms, which will have to be modified, had been acquired, but admitted it would be a struggle to get everything done in time.

He added: 'I think with these hard times clubs have not got the money. It will cost us around �7,000 which is a lot of money and there are a lot of other clubs in the same boat. Some teams that have not got a lot to do will be OK but there are a hell of a lot that won't. We have just got to get on and do it.'

Reasons given for other clubs failing the inspection were: Cromer (number of showerheads in home and away dressing rooms); Hempnall (shared player toilets; away dressing room changing space too small. Number of showerheads); Loddon (shared player toilets outside of dressing room, match officials dressing room changing space too small); North Walsham (away dressing room changing space too small); Sheringham (shared player toilets).

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