Clipstone groundshare is an option for Worksop Town next season

Windsor Food Stadium, Sandy Lane.  Worksop Town FC  (w120711-1g)
Windsor Food Stadium, Sandy Lane. Worksop Town FC (w120711-1g)

With the deadline for confirming the location of their 2016/17 home games looming, Worksop Town have confirmed they will have a back up plan, should negotiations for a Sandy Lane groundshare collapse.

Tigers must inform the Northern Counties East League of their ‘home’ for next season by 31st March.

And although talks are ongoing over a deal to stay in Worksop at Sandy Lane, chairman Kevin Keep says there are other options open to the club – like fellow NCEL Premier side and near neighbours Clipstone.

He said: “To fill the league criteria for season 20016/17 we have to be in a ground share agreement by the end of March 2016, the league are fully aware of negotiations between WTFC and Pete Whitehead, but still require a fall back to fulfil their rules that apply to all clubs.

“I was asked at Saturday’s game if Clipstone was an option for next season, my reply was it could be an option, not yes it is the option.

“The fall back will be to do as the league have asked us to do and that’s provide a ground whether it be a shared or owned ground.”

Should Tigers not come to an agreement for Sandy Lane, it would mean a third spell in exile.

The club moved out of the town to groundshare with Gainsborough in 1989, before the newly built Sandy Lane became their home in 1992.

But Worksop were kicked out of the ground in 2008 by the leaseholder 1861 Leisure Limited, and had to play their home games out of the town for three seasons, at Hucknall, Ilkeston and Retford.

Handsworth Parramore owner Peter Whitehead bought the lease for Sandy Lane in 2011 and agreed a groundshare deal with Worksop that saw them return to the town.

Relocating home games to Clipstone would mean a 26-mile round trip for fans, and would undoubtedly put a dent in Worksop’s current average home gate of almost 500 supporters.