Pitreavie Playing FieldsThursday, 16th Jan 2014
DAFC statement regarding Pitreavie Playing Fields
The interim Board provided the following prepared statement to the Dunfermline Press earlier this week regarding the ongoing situation at Pitreavie Playing Fields. A copy is provided below for all Pars supporters reference. This matter will remain fluid for a number of weeks, and the interim Board will update supporters when further information or clarity is available.
Everyone associated with the management of DAFC would prefer to look forward and rebuild the Club, rather than continually dealing with legacy issues but unfortunately the interim Board is now seeking legal advice regarding comments attributable to the Pars Trust in their prepared statement.
"Dunfermline Athletic Football Club (DAFC) is equally concerned about the current state of the community facility at Pitreavie Playing Fields. Not only have we received numerous complaints in recent weeks, but our back room staff who are based there, have had to contend with two visits from Environmental Health Officers, and the threat of the gas supply being terminated.
"However, it is important to point out to the local community that currently DAFC does not operate and manage the facility at Pitreavie, it only uses it as a training facility for the first team squad. The current disrepair and lack of management control over the facility continues to be damaging to the brand of the Football Club, as the perception appears to be that this is the responsibility of DAFC. We are aware from our own discussions with the landlord, Fife Council that they too are deeply concerned about the current state of the facility.
"It is important to stress that Pitreavie is solely operated by The Pars Trust, which is a charity set up by the previous owner of DAFC. The sole director is Ms Karen Masterton. Although, DAFC has a long term lease with Fife Council, a historical sub lease was put in place between DAFC and The Pars Trust, by the former owner, which Pars United had to take over when it acquired DAFC in October. Representatives from DAFC have had a number of meetings with Ms Masterton to try and resolve matters without success, so DAFC formally notified The Pars Trust last week that the sub lease was to be terminated no later than 21 September 2014. The current situation is untenable and decisive action needs now to be taken in this regard.
"DAFC has held very positive talks to date with Fife Council about developing Pitreavie as a true community wide sporting facility, and would like to take these discussions further forward, but unfortunately another significant issue has now arisen.
"Former owner, Gavin Masterton and Chairman, John Yorkston previously provided DAFC's interest in the lease at Pitreavie, as security for a loan against their pension fund. It is understood this loan has not been repaid, and therefore solicitors representing Messrs Masterton and Yorkston, as pension trustees along with the pension scheme administrator, Hornbuckle recently notified DAFC that they intend to call up their security interest as from 2 February. This matter may well take weeks or months to resolve.
"Until this matter is resolved, not only will the future of the facility remain unclear, but DAFC remain concerned that no investment will be made in the community grounds at Pitreavie, which will result in a further deterioration of the facility. DAFC's intention had been to work more closely with Fife Council and other stakeholders as well as the local community, such as the highly impressive Soccer 7's to rebuild the facility at Pitreavie, but these are now on hold and there is a very distinct possibility that this may not happen at all".