THE beautiful game is set to get more expensive across Rochford, after the local authority hiked the cost of pitch hire by ten per cent.
Youth prices will remain the same, but the cost for an adult side to hire a pitch for a season, with matches on alternate weekends, now stands at £759 for a Saturday and £817 for a Sunday.
The council has decided to reduce its expenditure on football pitches, but it means clubs will either have to absorb the cost, or increase their own playing fees.
Rochford Town Sports and Social Club play their home matches at Rochford Rec, a council-managed field of pitches, and are not happy with the increase.
Laurence Greenfield, chairman, said: “We are not pleased at all.
“If they increased their service by ten per cent then it might be OK, but they do virtually nothing other than line it and cut it.
“We start in August, but their service doesn’t start until September so we have to mark it ourselves.
“We won’t be able to absorb the cost ourselves, so it will have to get passed onto the players.”
The council is responsible for 33 pitches across the district, including five mini or nine-a-side pitches, with the playing status of each pitch listed on their website throughout the football season.
Head of environmental services for the council, Richard Evans, said: “The increase in charges for the district’s adult football pitches will bring them closer in line with those being charged by neighbouring authorities, but still significantly belowmost of them.
“We have sought to benchmark our charges at a level which we feel is fair and reasonable.
“The increase will contribute to the maintenance of these facilities at a time when the authority has experienced significant reductions in its budget.”
SEASON PITCH HIRE COSTS FOR SENIORS
Saturday – £759
Sunday – £817
Category A – £966
Category B – £651
Category C – £543
Anytime – £683