The future of Colne Cricket Club is under a cloud ahead of its annual meeting later this month.
With £150,000 of debts and a small core of people just about keeping the club running throughout the season, a letter has been sent out to all members highlighting the club’s position and offering two paths forward.
Those who attend the meeting on February 25th will be asked to either vote in favour of the current committee, who have vowed to carry on until the end of the season in September, and pay one of the debtors £500 up to the same period, or vote in a new committee to take the club forward and pay one of the debtors £500 indefinitely until it is repaid.
The club has two outstanding historic debts totalling approximately £150,000, one to Thwaites for an expansion of the club in the middle of the last decade, and another to a club member after losing a Tomlin order at court.
A member of the committee, who wished not be named, told the Colne Times this week that while the tone of the letter may seem sensationalist, people needed to realise the seriousness of the situation.
The member said: “We have a benefactor who has said they will pay off the debt and hopefully they do come up with the goods.
It’s a really depressing state of affairsClub member
“The committee has worked very hard over the last 24 months or so to reduce the number of debts to just these two historical ones.”
In the letter, it states that Thwaites have not yet replied to a proposal to repay the debt at a rate of £250 per month.
It also adds that an interim solution has been found to pay the second debtor £500 a month through an anonymous person up to the start of the season until, it is hoped, the benefactor comes to the fore.
On the lack of volunteers, the member said that the current committee is unwilling to carry on beyond the coming season but felt it right to honour Colne’s fixtures.
According to the member, circumstances have become so critical that the club may not be able to run junior teams this season as there is nobody to coach them.
The member added: “It’s a really depressing state of affairs.
“Every AGM we have a maximum of 40 people turn up yet we have 200 members. People need to realise the severity of the situation otherwise they won’t come.
“Some will say the letter is scaremongering but we need to get the message out there that the club needs you.”