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Ilford Football Club says it may be forced to close over ‘dangerous’ floodlights

PUBLISHED: 12:16 21 November 2017 | UPDATED: 12:26 21 November 2017

A general view of the main stand at Cricklefield Stadium, home of Ilford Football Club (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

A general view of the main stand at Cricklefield Stadium, home of Ilford Football Club (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo tgsphoto.co.uk +44 1376 553468

“Dangerous” lighting conditions may see Ilford Football Club fined or closed, its chairman claims.

Despite a meeting with Redbridge Council about the floodlights at Cricklefield Stadium, High Road, Ilford, the club said no progress has been made.

Chairman Michael Foley said: “The current illumination produced by the floodlighting at Cricklefield is dangerous, impossible to play under and in no way fit for purpose.

“At our most recent fixture, the officials delayed the start due to their uncertainty as to whether the game could go ahead.

“The referee then stated in his post-match report that the illumination was the worst he’d ever experienced, being so poor as to represent a genuine danger to all players.”

Mr Foley warned that Ilford’s next scheduled match versus Woodford Town on Wednesday will not go ahead if the referee again deems the conditions unplayable.

He said nothing has been done in the past six weeks to rectify the problem.

“We have a duty of care also to our tenants, Barkingside FC and to our junior sides, all of whom use the stadium,” he added.

“Ilford Football Club has spent a lot of money upgrading facilities at Cricklefield for the benefit of all users. We are prepared to mount organised pressure to galvanise positive action.”

He also said that any costs incurred though league fines or loss of sponsorship would be passed directly on to the council.

A council spokeswoman said that Vision Redbridge Culture and Leisure – which oversees leisure activities in the borough – upgraded floodlights in July of this year.

“Ilford Football Club has raised a concern that the refurbished lights are not providing as much light as during the previous football season and Vision managers have been in communication with the floodlighting contractor about this,” she said.

“The lux levels of the new lights have not changed but these may need further re-alignment and Vision are working with the contractor to improve the situation.

“Vision are aware of Ilford Football Club’s concerns and will continue to keep the club updated regarding this matter.”

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