Wigan Athletic close golf club
A GOLF club in Lancashire owned by Wigan Athletic was closed with immediate effect despite assurances from the football club a few weeks ago saying it would remain open.
Charnock Richard Golf Club, near Chorley, was bought by Latics owner Dave Whelan at the beginning of July with the intention of turning it into the Championship side's new training ground.
A statement from the new owners shortly after purchase read: "Wigan Athletic stress that the golf club will continue to operate as normal during the current golf season and all competitions and fixtures will be honoured."
However, that will no longer be the case as the club has been closed with immediate effect, apparently due to £30,000 extra expenditure being needed to replace course machinery and equipment which the club were not willing to pay.
A spokesperson for Wigan said: “It was originally intended for the course to remain open for the duration of the current golf season, however, it has become apparent that the remaining ground maintenance equipment was not in a suitable condition to allow us to maintain the course to an appropriate standard and unfortunately we have no alternative but to close the facilities.
“The decision made is a regrettable one, but one that has been made after much consideration. We apologise to members for any inconvenience that has resulted from the cessation of trade of the previous company.
“The land and property has been purchased to develop football academy facilities subject to future planning permission, and any questions members have regarding membership or restaurant and clubhouse bookings should be directed to the golf course operating company, Hole in One Golf Club Limited.”
The sudden nature of the decision has enraged members and staff at the club, who are top of the Lancashire South West Senior League.
Former president and captain Bill Threlfall said: “It’s a disgrace. They have done the dirty on us.
“We were assured that the club would stay open until at least the end of the season, but we received a letter on Friday to say it would close the very next day.
“Nobody from Wigan Athletic has taken the time to meet with us or discuss the plans, they have just closed without a regard to the members.
“Many of the golfers have paid subs right up until December and it’s a real kick in the teeth for the people that have put a lot of time and effort in at the club.”
Club President John Sinclair said: “They haven’t even submitted a planning application yet and do not know whether it will be passed. It could take months before anything starts to happen.
“It seems very unfair especially as we have some big competitions coming up, but it doesn’t look like we can do anything about it.”
The news of Charnock Richard Golf Club follows four clubs being sold to business investors in recent weeks, which again shows signs that commercial development is slowly taking over.
Last edited: 20/03/2017