Saturday, December 12, 2020

London's oldest football ground needs a new clubhouse roof

"The Old Spotted Dog Ground Trust is launching an appeal for urgent funds - £15,000 is needed to fix the clubhouse roof at Clapton CFC’s new home in Forest Gate.

The Old Spotted Dog is London’s oldest senior football ground and Clapton CFC became the new owners in July 2020. We have since begun the work of reversing two decades of neglect.

A roof leak caused part of the clubhouse ceiling to collapse before we took over. Since then our inventive volunteers have tried multiple methods to stop the leak, including roofing felt, heavy-duty tarpaulin and even an industrial-strength rubber ‘roof condom’.

A permanent roof replacement is a vital step that allows critical repair work, including replacing the condemned electrics, to take place. Without this, there is a real question mark hanging over our ability to bring football back to the Old Spotted Dog Ground next season.

Why does this matter?

Since July we have made huge strides forward on improving the pitch, but we have only begun recently to fully understand the other challenges we face. As things stand with the leak and the wiring situation, we cannot safely have people working in the clubhouse.

A functioning clubhouse is a key component of the FA’s ground grading requirements. To be ready for an FA inspection in early 2021, we must make these repairs on a very tight timetable, Therefore we cannot wait to secure grants or other sources of funding.

In addition to being passed as ready for our matchdays, we aim for the clubhouse to become a warm and welcoming community hub for the people of Newham, with the emphasis on warm!

What will our donations pay for?

We will spend every penny we raise up to £15,000 on replacing the roof, a really ambitious target.

If we are able to exceed the target, or if a more competitive quote for the repair is found, we will spend any extra funds raised on rewiring the clubhouse and completing other works needed to open the clubhouse.

Please share this urgent appeal, tag @OSDGroundE7 on Twitter and @ClaptonCFC everywhere else!

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