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Penn aim for deal to secure future

By Nick Elwell | Cricket | Published:

Penn CC are close to finalising an agreement that will safeguard the club’s future.

Penn aim for deal to secure future

The South Staffs County League outfit have been battling against a decline in playing numbers in recent years and there were fears they could fold.

Penn are down to just one team for this summer – and the fact that they will play their home games at Gamesfield Green and not their main Mount Road base, had added to speculation that the club was struggling to stay afloat.

But, an as yet unnamed local sporting organisation with a very good sporting pedigree has expressed an interest in joining forces with the club. They also have the manpower to help run the club and help keep the Penn CC name going.

Talks are at an advanced stage and Penn chairman Ghazi Zaki is confident a deal will be struck.

“We are in negotiations with a sporting organisation who have expressed an interest in joining forces, as it has been a real struggle for us over the past five or so years,” said Zaki.

“We have lost a number of players and have been forced to cut the number of teams we run. Consequently, when you lose players and teams, then your revenue is also affected. In addition, there was reducing enthusiasm from the membership to take things on and help run the club, where both factors made us consider looking at folding the club.

“If everything is agreed it would mean greater use of the club and facilities. We have had some very encouraging talks and things are progressing well. We just have to agree on the fine details.

“Hopefully everything will be agreed soon and that would be great news for the club because it has a long and rich history. This will be Penn’s 112th year and no-one wants to see the club fold.”

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Zaki also admitted the club were considering a deal to rent out their Mount Road base for the 2020 season.

Reports on social media suggested Springvale were set to play their first and second team games there.

“Mount Road will be empty this summer and we are looking into supporting another club to enable them to play cricket there,” added Zaki. “There have been reports on social media saying a deal has been agreed, but those are a touch premature, we need to speak to our members first because it is still their club.”

Nick Elwell

By Nick Elwell
Grassroots Sports Editor

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