Football Association to make formal complaint about Borough Council over Real Bedford lease renewal

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Image: Bedfordshire Football Association

The Bedfordshire Football Association have confirmed they will be making an official complaint to Bedford Borough Council over their handling of the lease renewal at McMullen Park, home of Real Bedford FC.

Earlier on Monday, Bedford Independent revealed that Peter McCormack, co-owner of Real Bedford, had called for Mayor Tom Wootton to resign over a ‘Men’s football only’ clause included in the ground’s lease renewal.

Read: Real Bedford owner calls for Mayor’s resignation over women’s football ‘ban’

Now, Bedfordshire FA has released a statement, confirming no lease renewal has been agreed upon and that they will be making a formal complaint to the Bedford Borough Council’s monitoring officer over its handling of the affair.

In a statement, they said: “Bedfordshire Football Association can confirm it has been working with Bedford Borough Council and Real Bedford Football Club to renew the lease at McMullen Park but was unsuccessful in negotiating a suitable lease.

“The County Football Association can also confirm a formal complaint will be submitted to the Monitoring Officer regarding the process and the lease that has been issued to Real Bedford Football Club.”

“It’s a risk”

In an interview with Real Bedford’s media team, McCormack stood by his claim that the Mayor should resign and accepted the risk involved with pulling out of negotiations.

“We could have gone back into the negotiations but it’s not right. I’ve called for the Mayor to resign, and I don’t think he has any other option because he has exposed the way that he thinks.

“If he’s there to represent the people of Bedford, is it just the male side? It is a risk for the club, but it’s the right thing to do.”

Earlier today the Bedford Independent spoke to Bedford Borough Council who said the ‘male football only’ clause was a “drafting error” and that a new 15-year lease had been sent.

Mr McCormack, however, said he was no longer prepared to reopen negotiations directly with the council and reiterated the closing paragraphs of his letter.

There are currently two years left on the lease at McMullen Park with both the men’s and the women’s side gaining promotion up the English pyramid this season.

The women are aiming for a treble this Sunday as they face Wroxham in the league cup final, looking to add the League Cup to the Eastern Region Women’s Football League title and the County Cup trophies already won.