Wanderers closes down

2015-07-28 09:48
Wanderers Club chairperson Lawrence McKenzie (left) and president Trevor Brown watch club regular Robin Emslie clear stock out of the premises yesterday.

Wanderers Club chairperson Lawrence McKenzie (left) and president Trevor Brown watch club regular Robin Emslie clear stock out of the premises yesterday. (Ian Carbutt)

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AS sporting clubs using the Wanderers Club premises for training and league sport have been left stranded as the club closes its doors this week, the future use of the facility has been the topic of much ­speculation.

Suggestions have been made that the club could be used as either a “student village” to house students currently ­occupying illegal boarding houses in Scottsville and Pelham, or as a possible home ground for the Maritzburg United football team.

The Wanderers Club’s three-month eviction notice ends this week and ­Standard Cricket Club and the Long Donkeys Frisbee Club say they have been left in the lurch.

The sporting clubs who have used the Wanderers premises for years say they now have nowhere to go.

“We have cricketers from the Inland and Dolphins teams who train with us and play in our leagues. But since the closure of Wanderers, we have nowhere to go and no one is communicating with us,” said chairperson of the Standard Cricket Club Neville Barron.

Barron said fixtures and leagues have been scheduled to start but due to the uncertainty of their use of the club, “it is a great worry”.

“We are quite unsure of the future right now. We hope the municipality can arrange something for us and allow us to still use the grounds,” said Barron.

Ryan McFee of the Long Donkeys ­Frisbee Club said they are “in the same boat” as the cricketers who have not been given notice and communication has been non-existent.

“This is a huge problem for us. We have invested time and money into the infrastructure of the Wanderers Club and all our members have paid their club fees in full for the year,” said McFee.

The Long Donkeys Frisbee team are the current national champions and will be participating in the Masters Division in England next year.

“We have invested money into extra light poles and lighting on the fields for our sport. We even brought in our own generator to power the lights but now we have been treated quite unfairly by the club and the municipality. We represent Pietermaritzburg and the country and it is quite harsh that we and other clubs, as non-contributing factors to the problem, are paying the price,” he said.

McFee said the Long Donkeys Frisbee Club have looked at other venues to ­allow them to practise but “none are available”.

He said other venues that had the facilities to cater for the team did not have the times available for them to practise.

It is believed that members of the Wanderers Bowling Club were joining other bowling clubs in the city.

Rumours of Maritzburg United ­Football Club making a bid to take over the Wanderers Club came to light ­yesterday, however, spokesperson for the football club Brian Zuma said the club have only “made enquiries”.

Msunduzi municipal acting ­spokesperson Nqobile Madonda said the municipality “do not want to ­respond to rumours of Maritzburg ­United, student villages and so on”.

“The disposal of the property will be dealt with in accordance with the ­approved processes of council,” she said.

Following a “serious breach of contract”, the municipality decided to end the contract with the Wanderers Club.

In a recent article the municipality said they made the club aware of their breach of contract since December 2014.

“The fact that they did not have ­written consent from the Msunduzi ­Municipality to sub-let the premises is what led to the termination of contract,” said Madonda.

After an investigation it was found that Wanderers Club were in breach of their contract as the signed lease agreement between the city and the club does not allow for any subletting without the written consent of the city.

The club was then afforded three months to wrap up their ­affairs and vacate the premises.

Club could be used as digs

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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