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Boston United Football Club News

Here is the news about the club received in the 2005/6 season. It is in date order with the latest news at the top.

Another old'un signs.

29 Jun Boston United have signed 31 year old striker Paul Tait from Chester City. He began his footballing career as a trainee with Everton before joining Wigan Athletic for a season in 1994. He then dropped down to non-league, turning out for Runcorn and Northwich Victoria before resuming his League career with Crewe Alexandra, Hull City, Bristol Rovers and Rochdale. Recent seasons have seen him plagued by injury, that have limited his appearances. Overall he has made 217 appearances scoring 32 goals. He was born on 24/10/1974 in Newcastle.

Jon Sotnick quits over pay

23 Jun Club chairman Jon Sotnick has announced that he has resigned as Chairman of both Boston United Football Club and its holding company Lavaflow. He told the club's official website that he had resigned because: "Boston United are unable to remunerate me. I have to think of my own family and take steps to ensure they are looked after". It is expected that Director of Football Jim Rodwell will take over Sotnick's positions.

Last orders please

22 Jun Ding-ding – last orders please! Final orders are now being taken for issue two of the confusingly named Boston United fanzine impsTALK. The fanzine - three times bigger than issue one - is priced at a hefty £1 (plus 50p p+p for exiles), which buys you a half-assed attempt to resurrect FBYF legend Farmer Dan, an interview with Lennie Curtis, the world famous 2005/2006 season review, articles on Eldinho, Oxford United and the return of Sensible Soccer, a collection of funny pictures, more incredibly crap teams and much much more stuff not good enough to be mentioned here.

A mere 200 copies will be printed: you can pre-order yours until Saturday 25 June by e-mailing editorial@impstalkdotcodotuk. The remaining copies will be flogged at a legally safe distance from the Staffsmart Megadome on Saturday 8 July before the friendly with Ipswich Town.

Opening League Fixtures

22 Jun The Football League fixture list is out and Boston United will begin their campaign with a short trip to local rivals Grimsby Town on Saturday 5th August. Their first home match is another local derby - this time against Peterborough United on Wednesday 9th August. They then face Darlington at York Street on Saturday 12th August.

Seaside trip in Carling Cup

21 Jun Boston United have been drawn against recently relegated Brighton & Hove Albion in the first round of the Carling Cup. The tie is due to be played in the week commencing 21st August at Brighton's Withdean Stadium. The match will be decided on the night, with extra-time and penalties if required. The only time the two clubs have met before was in the LDV Vans Trophy in November 2003. Brighton won that game 3-1 in extra-time.

Two old signings

14 Jun Boston United have signed up two old players for next season. Goalkeeper Andy Marriott arrives from Torquay and midfielder David Farrell from Peterborough United. Marriot is 35 years old and has previously turned out for a host of teams including Nottingham Forest, Wrexham, Barnsley and Bury. He was born on 11/10/1970 in Sutton-in-Ashfield. Farrell is 34 years old and has previously played for Aston Villa and Wycombe Wanderers. He was recently released by Peterborough's new manager Keith Alexander. He has scored 58 goals in 469 first team appearances to date. He was born on 11/11/1971 in Birmingham.

Mr Big Scam

12 Jun Club director Colin Woodcock has revealed that he was lying about "secret talks" with a "Mr Big" on Thursday and it was just a scam to wind up Mark Isaac - acting secretary of the Boston United Supporters' Trust. A meeting did take place, but there was nothing secret about it. Aging rock star Rick Wakeman was in town filming an upcoming BBC documentary about 1970s dance halls and the bands that played in them. He met up with the club's landlords - who also own the Gliderdrome next to the York Street Stadium and which was once a major venue for rock and pop acts.

Mystery meeting with Mr Big

11 Jun Long time club director Colin Woodcock has revealed that the owners of the York Street Stadium have been in secret talks with a "Mr Big". Woodcock has made a number of posts on the Boston United Supporters' Trust discussion list over the weekend and stated: "Some very important people were in town yesterday. The guy in question is worth more than Lavaflow, Staffsmart and Oldrids put together and he was impressed. Mind you, this was the fourth time he's been down to see York Street, so he's got to be interested. The meeting didn't take place in The Boardroom for obvious reasons and the personalised plate would have set tongues wagging without a doubt! This guy doesn't have to do much to impress; football fan, golfer.... really laid-back, ordinary sort of guy - watched us play at Wycombe. When all is revealed, you'll know of him. Lavaflow were not party to the meeting, just the landlords, a local person connected with the building trade and myself... plus "Mr Big". I will be informing the Chairman, possibly later today, of what's going on. There could be a press release on Monday afternoon." Mystery Man

Chairman seeks source of ludicrous betting claims

Jon Sotnick 30 May Club chairman Jon Sotnick is outraged by claims of unusual betting activity surrounding a Boston United game. He told the club's official web site: "I am angry, upset and dismayed. It is quite obvious that whoever has started this rumour has a grievance against this football club. I will do everything in my power to press charges against those that started this ludicrous story and to protect this football club against further untruths". Stories relating to investigations into large sums being bet in the Far East on the result of the Carlisle United vs Boston United League Two match on 25th March appeared in the Sunday Mirror this weekend.

Boston match fixing claim

29 May The FA are investigating a claim of match fixing regarding Boston United's League Two game at Carlisle on 25th March. Carlisle won 4-2 following an unusually large number of bets being placed in the Far East on a Carlisle win by two goals. The betting markets in Asia are reported to have seen six figure sum bets predicting the correct margin of victory. Boston were losing by just one goal in the dying minutes when 'keeper Michel Kuipers was ordered up field in an attempt to gain an equaliser after Boston won a free kick. The plan backfired though as Carlisle quickly cleared the ball allowing a break forward and an easy goal by Simon Hackney into an unprotected net to give the home side the required two goal margin.

Betting scandals are not new to English football. Back in April 1915 Manchester United beat Liverpool 2-0 after considerable wagers had been struck in the area at odds of 7-1 that the match would end in just that score. The subsequent investigation by the Football League concluded that the match had been fixed and four players from each team were suspended from football for life. Three Sheffield Wednesday players were given prison sentences after they were convicted of throwing a game against Ipswich Town in December 1962. In 1968 Peterborough United were demoted from Division 3 to Division 4 following irregular bonus payments for an FA Cup match against Sunderland that they lost 7-1. More recently four people were jailed in 1998 after a betting scam involving Far East syndicates and floodlight tampering was uncovered.

Rigor mortis for flexi-ticket scheme

23 May Boston United chairman Jon Sotnick has decided to end the club's flexi-ticket scheme. The scheme allowed fans to purchase ten admission tickets for the price of eight and had proved to be extremely popular with the fans after it was launched last summer. The chairman cited administrative difficulties with the scheme as the reason for its demise.

Lincoln Green

18 May Francis Green is the latest summer signing at York Street as the 26 year old sriker put pen to paper after being released by local rivals Lincoln City. Green had a two month loan spell with the Pilgrims starting in November 2005 but was recalled early after turning out six times and scoring one goal for Boston. He was born on 23/4/1980 in Derby. Francis Green

New defensive pair

17 May Boston United have signed up two new experienced defenders. Tim Ryan has joined from Peterborough United and Mark Albrighton has joined from Doncaster Rovers. Ryan is 31 years old and has previously played for Scunthorpe United, Buxton, Altrincham, Southport, Doncaster Rovers and Peterborough United. He was born on 10/12/1974 in Stockport. Albrighton is 30 years old and has previously played for Atherstone United, Telford United, Doncaster Rovers and Chester City. He was born on 6/3/1976 in Nuneaton. Both players turned out for Doncaster Rovers when they clinched the Division Three title at York Street in May 2004.

Five more to depart

15 May Five more players have been released by the club. Lawrie Dudfield and Steve Melton were not offered new contracts and Austin McCann, Alan White and Danny Thomas were unable to agree terms to remain at York Street. However, five players have been able to sign contracts for next season - David Galbraith, Mark Greaves, Paul Ellender, Simon Rusk and Chris Holland have all put pen to paper to sign up for a further term.

ImpsTALK back for issue two

9 May With fingers and toes firmly crossed that the club survives the summer, the stupidly-named Boston United fanzine impsTALK is delighted to announce that it's back with another dose of smirk-inducing entertainment!

Issue Two will be released during United's pre-season campaign and will be packed to the rafters with material not yet seen by humankind. Features include: the return of FBYF legend Farmer Dan the Boston Fan, the definitive 2005/2006 season review, a gloating farewell to Oxford United and the Kassam 'stadium', an exclusive interview with United legend Lennie Curtis, the rise, fall, and return of Eldinho and whatever else we can cram in between now and then.

Using the same logic applied to last year's season ticket sales, this edition of the 'zine will have a record-breaking circulation 2,300 short of Issue One's circulation of 2,500 - for those unable to do the arithmetic, that means there's a mere 200 up for grabs, carefully calculated as one per every paying customer at York Street.

You can reserve your copy now by e-mailing your details to impsTALK (if you trust us not to sell your personal information to the highest bidder that is) and the remaining copies will be on sale from a couple of young ruffians outside York Street before the game against Ipswich Town on July 8 2006.

Prices are yet to be finalised, but we're 97% certain that you won't pay a penny more than £475k.

Further details about the new issue will be posted at: www.impstalk.co.uk. impsTALK is being released independently of the Boston United FC Supporters Trust.

Till check out

8 May The host of loan-signings that made up the squad towards the end of the season have returned to their respective clubs. Peter Till is now back with relegated Birmingham City, Gary Silk has gone back to Portsmouth and Conrad Logan is back at Leicester City. Two youngsters have also been released - goalkeeper Chris Wright and defender Ashley Edkins. Coming the other way, local lad Anthony Elding has rejoined the Pilgrims by signing up with a two year contract. He left Boston United to join Conference side Stevenage Borough back in 2003 after failing to force his way into the first team and being loaned out to Gainsborough Trinity. He recently left Stevenage to play for Kettering Town, but their failure to make the Conference North play-offs made him available once more and he was more than happy to return to his home town club.

Player of the Year

29 Apr The annual awards ceremony took place before kickoff in Boston United's last home match of the season against Rushden & Diamonds. In all nine awards were handed out, with four going to Alan White - including the most prestigious "Player of the Year" as voted for by the supporters. The full set of awards are as follows:

Keeper merry-go-round

20 Apr With Michel Kuipers returning to Brighton and Hove Albion as his loan spell had reached the maximum allowed 93 days, Boston United needed to find a replacement goalkeeper. The Football League gave the club special dispensation to sign up a goalkeeper, despite it being outside the transfer window. So the Pilgrims have brought back Conrad Logan from Leicester City - initially on a seven day loan. Logan's last loan spell with Boston ended when he was recalled by Leicester as he was needed to provide cover following an injury to their first choice stopper Rab Douglas. Boston hope to extend Logan's loan period to the end of the season so that he can play in all the club's remaining games.

Return of the king

Sending off the forms on-time. 27 Mar Boston United have decided to recall Paul Ellender from his loan-spell with Chester City following a spate of injuries and illness at the club that has left manager Steve Evans short of options. Stewart Talbot, Chris Holland, Austin McCann and Danny Thomas are all doubtful for Wednesday's match against Chester City. So General Manager John Blackwell has sent off the forms to bring back Ellender in time for the midweek clash.

Club takes it on the Chinn

18 Mar Boston United have announced that one of their major sponsors has withdrawn funding. The club's official website has issued a statement by Michael Chinn - managing director of Staffsmart UK. It states that Staffsmart are to end their financial backing of Boston United with immediate effect. The bizarre reason given for the shock announcement is that Mr Chinn believes Staffsmart has been the subject of untrue accusations about the company’s liquidity by Mark Isaac - one of the founders of the newly formed Boston United Supporters’ Trust - on the Trust's website forum. However, there appears to be no evidence of any such posts being made by Mark Isaac on the forum, so quite how Mr Chinn reached his conclusions is unclear.

Lincs Senior Cup Final

6 Mar The date of the Lincs Senior Cup final between Boston United and Scunthorpe United to be played at York Street has been set for Monday April 10th, kick off at 7.45pm. The match was originally due to be played on 19th October but was postponed due to Boston having an LDV Vans Trophy fixture on the same night. Boston reached the final after beating Lincoln City 3-2 on penalties after the game had finished in a 3-3 draw. Scunthorpe beat Grimsby on penalties in the other semi-final after that had finished in a 0-0 draw.

The dates of two rearranged Coca-Cola League Two games have also been set. The home games against Northampton Town and Chester City are now scheduled to take place on the Wednesday 22nd and Wednesday 29th March respectively. Both games kick-off at 7.45pm.

Arrival and Departures

23 Feb With only two recognised strikers in their first team squad, Boston United have moved to improve their attacking options by signing up Jermaine McSporran on-loan for a month from Doncaster Rovers. McSporran has scored 2 goals in 30 appearances for Doncaster since joining them from Walsall in June 2004. He has also turned out for Wycombe Wanderers having signed up for them from Oxford City in November 1998 for a £75,000 transfer fee. He was born on 1/1/1977 in Manchester.

Meanwhile, out-of-favour centre-half Paul Ellender has joined Chester City on-loan until the end of the season. Ellender has been with the club since signing for a club record fee of £60,000 from Scarborough in August 2001 and he was a key member of the squad that went on to win the Conference title that season. He was voted "Player of the Year" in 2003/4. He has put in some outstanding performances this season and was rewarded by picking up the Professional Footballers' Association Coca Cola League Two Player of the Month Award for December. He has made 180 appearances for the Pilgrims - many as team captain - scoring 11 goals. Paul Ellender

Three of Boston United's youngsters have joined Nationwide North side Alfreton Town for work experience. Richard Chinn, Jamie Stevens and Lewis Brooks have made the move to enable them to gain some first team football.

Steve Evans As expected, manager Steve Evans has been formally charged by the FA for breaching FA rule E3: abusive and/or insulting words to a match official. He has until 9th March to respond. The charge relates to the match at Grimsby Town on 11th February when Evans was ejected from the ground by the police following a verbal outburst after the referee turned down a handball appeal. Evans already has a £1000 suspended fine hanging over him following a previous breach of the rule earlier in the season. He picked up the fine following the match against Peterborough United on 1st October with the proviso that the fine would only have to be paid if he breached the rule again at any time in the following twelve months.

Jeepers Kuipers

16 Feb On-loan goalkeeper Conrad Logan has been recalled to Leicester City to provide cover following an injury to first choice stopper Rab Douglas in Tuesday night's match against Derby County. Boston United have moved quickly to sign a replacement and look set to see the return of Michel Kuipers from Brighton & Hove Albion. Kuipers player four games for the Pilgrims earlier in the season in an initial loan deal.

Meanwhile former Boston goalkeeper Nathan Abbey has signed up with League One side Bristol City after being allowed to leave the Pilgrims to become a free agent at the end of January.

Michel Kuipers

Deadline day departures

31 Jan On the day the January transfer window ended, two players left Boston United. Noel Whelan and Nathan Abbey have both terminated their contracts by mutual consent with the club. Abbey hasn't played for the club since the 3-0 defeat to Conference side Kidderminster Harriers in the LDV Vans Trophy back in November. Whelan checked in to the Sporting Chance alcohol rehabilitation centre in Hampshire at the beginning of January.

Loan signings Gary Silk and Peter Till have extended their loan periods to the end of the season and Asa Hall has extended his loan period for another month. James Keene is scheduled to join a foreign club before the end of the season, but has agreed to stay at York Street until the loan transfer window opens again in mid February.

Some former Pilgrims involved in moves during the transfer window include Mark Rawle who has joined Gravesend and Northfleet on loan from Woking until the end of the season; Jermaine Easter who has signed for Wycombe Wanderers from Stockport County; Andy White who has been loaned out to Kidderminster Harriers by Notts County; Steve McGarry who has switched from Ross County to Motherwell; and Gary Brabin who has signed up with Southport.


31 Jan Boston United's plans to relocate to Boardsides so that they can make inroads into paying off the huge debts racked up in getting the club into the Football League look increasingly fragile as public protests mount ahead of the upcoming Planning Meeting of Boston Borough Council.

The complex plans were submitted to Boston Borough Council back in September and involve the enforced relocation of Boston Town Football Club from their Tattershall Road ground as well as the demolition of Boston United's historic York Street home. Club Chairman Mr Sotnick recently revealed that if any part of the planning application fails then Boston United will be wound up as the debts can only be paid from the profits to be made by relocating.

There is considerable local opposition to the proposed move of Boston Town to Wyberton Low Road. Protest meetings have attracted hundreds of people. The local community favours using the land earmarked for Town's new ground as a children's play area and wild flower meadow rather than a football ground and clubhouse. It is a quiet community and that is the way they want it to stay.

The Boston Town move is covered by Planning Application - Reference: B/05/0842 - Land off Wyberton Low Road, Wyberton, for the construction of a replacement football stadium for Boston Town FC, consisting of 4 pitches, 2 concrete spectator stands, a single storey clubhouse, changing facilities and store, 259 car parking spaces and improvements to site access.

The following concerns about the Boston Town move have been expressed:

Central government legislation places a duty, on principal local authorities, to prepare Community and Cultural Strategies, for promoting or improving the economic, social and environmental well-being of each particular community, as well as contributing to the achievement of sustainable development in the UK. The Government is committed to developing strong, vibrant and sustainable communities and to promoting community cohesion in both urban and rural areas. Equally, public open space together with sports and recreational facilities, that are of high quality, and of particular value to a local community, should be recognised and given protection by local authorities through appropriate policies in their local Plans. The Adopted Local Plan for the Borough of Boston identifies this particular site as "Council Allotments" and that Boston Borough Council have taken the necessary steps to allow this area of publically owned land to be changed to a recreational use, and as such this site has been identified in The Re-Deposit Draft of The Local Plan, as a recreational facility, available free of charge to the public generally, and in particular the immediate community.

The relocation of Boston Town Football Club, from within their existing community, at Tattershall Road, Boston to this particular site in Wyberton is NOT consistent with this approach. It is common ground that central government, Boston Borough Council, and the local residents of this particular area, support the principle that this area of publically owned land should be made available to the public, for reactional purpose. Furthermore, this is supported by the granting of a recent planning permission by Boston Borough Council, when a local community group were the applicants.

A matter that therefore needs to be resolved is the possible relocation of Boston Town Football Club from Tattershall Road, Boston to this particular site in Wyberton. Had the applicants, for this particular application, discussed Boston Town's desires and aspirations they would have found that Boston Town Football Club would prefer to remain at Tattershall Road, Boston, abeit either in improved facilities, or possibly new facilities which could then provide all the desired facilities, not only to service this successful semi-professional football club, but also to provide essential community facilities to this particular area, and the immediate community.

Indeed it could be argued that should Boston Town Football Club need to relocate then any possible site for relocation should be easily identified through a sequential search analyis of that particular area. Should potential new sites be identifiable then these potential sites should be at least as accessible to current and potential new users, and at least equivalent in terms of size, usefulness, attractiveness and quality. Surely, wherever possible, the aim should be to achieve quality improvements to existing open spaces, sports and recreational facilities, rather than the destruction of the existing social network.

As Boston Borough Council own the land for the above proposed development, and as it is believed that Boston Borough Council also own the majority of the land around the existing football stadium at Tattershall Road, Boston, including the football pitches alongside the football stadium, that the general public as a whole, and the local communities of each particular area would be better served by the existing, and the proposed new recreational space, having improved community facilities. Indeed, the usage of this facility could be increased from the capital investment and better management of the improved facilities.

Given the easily accessible location of Boston Town Football Club, at Tattershall Road, Boston, by walking or cycling from the town centre, it cannot be seen how the submitted proposals will benefit either the football club, the local community of Tattershall Road, or Boston as a whole? Indeed, if Boston Town progress through the football pyramid then the attraction to attend home matches will increase and the current proposals will not support this possibility, as it is believed that the proposed site is not well served by public transport, which will mean that supporters will need to travel to the home matches by private car, which obviously will increase emissions into the atmosphere, as well as possibly causing traffic congestion, on the existing road network around the proposed site.

It can be concluded that Boston Borough Council need to find an appropriate balance between the provision of new recreational facilities at Wyberton Low Road and the enhancement of existing recreational facilities at Tattershall Road, Boston. If Boston Borough Council do not have an up-to-date database of all the recreational facilities, i.e. swimming pools, indoor sports halls and leisure centres, indoor bowls centres, indoor tennis centres, ice rinks, community centres, and village halls within the borough, it is suggested that Boston Borough Council request that the applicant demonstrates, through an independent assessment, that the land proposed for the semi-professional football club stadium, and therefore only accessible by the paying public, is surplus to the Borough's overall requirements for recreational space available to the open public, free of charge. It is also believed that potential developers of such recreational facilities should consult openly with the local community and demonstrate that their proposals are widely supported by them. it is not know if the applicant has carried out this exercise.

It is therefore requested that Boston Borough Council considers the needs and aspirations of the immediate community around Wyberton Low Road, and their proposals for this recreational space, and how this recreational space could be utilised by the individual members of this community. It is also suggested that the proposed development should consider including the provision for children and teenagers - including play areas, skateboard parks, outdoor basketball hoops, and other more informal areas (e.g. 'hanging out' areas, teenage shelters, etc.).

The Boston United relocation is covered by Planning Application - Reference: B/05/0845 - Land off Boardsides, Wyberton Fen, Boston for the construction of 7500 seat football stadium with 2 training pitches and 300 seat conferencing facility, 90 room hotel, pub/restaurant, 978 car parking spaces, coach parking facilities, access and landscaping.

The following concerns have been expressed about the Boston United move.

It is central government planning policy to see the redevelopment of brownfield land rather than the development of greenfield land, especially in the open countryside. Furthermore, Boston Borough Council's Adopted Local Plan identifies the proposed development site as open countryside, and in the Re-Deposit Draft of The Local Plan, the proposed development site is identified as part of the search area for the "Boston Woods" project.

It is central government planning policy to see the regeneration of the built environment in existing town centres, thereby improving the well being of the entire community - not only the immediate community, but also the wider local community, with the consequential aim of providing a strong, vibrant, sustainable, safe, socially inclusive and economically stable town.

Boston is in need of additional quality hotel facilities, including conference facilities. The existing Boston Borough Council's Adopted Local Plan allocates land along the Boardsides, though nearer to the town centre, for a business park and that a hotel development, on this particular site, would not be in accordance with the business use category. Equally, the Re-Deposit Draft of The Local Plan which Boston Borough Council have produced proposed a brownfield site on land fronting the John Adam's Way, the main A road passing through the town, which would have the added advantage of not only being high visible but also affording easy vehicular access from Fydell Crescent. Furthermore, the proposed location for the new hotel near to the town centre, and adjacent to John Adam's Way, is far superior, in location terms, to a hotel in an out of town location. The benefits of a new hotel near to the town centre is that such a location would also allow guests staying at the hotel to access such facilities as the Cinema, Blackfriars, the Sam Newson Music Centre, the numerous restaurants in the town centre (and West Street in particular) entirely on foot. The same could be said regarding any out of town retail space contained within the proposals, as this retail floorspace could detract either from the existing town centre facilities, or from town centre facilities which might become available in the future, particularly as there are already undeveloped retail sites currently available along West Street.

The Borough Council have previously and publicly stated that as a Borough, Boston does not have sufficient open spaces for its residents, as recommended by The Playing Fields Association, however it is not known where the shortage of open space is within the Borough, as most of the surrounding villages (including Fishtoft and Wyberton) already have playing fields with changing facilities. However, it is accepted that the above mentioned facilities are under used, and rather than sacrificing further open countryside along the Boardsides, it would surely be more beneficial to the local communities of say Boston, Fishtoft and Wyberton if the existing facilities were improved to provide not only the desired training pitches: but for instance, the existing changing facilities could be refurbished or redeveloped to provide modern facilites which could be utilised by all sections of the community - young, old, male, female, able bodied or disabled, whatever their nationality or origin.

Although Boston United Football Club have experienced promotions in recent years, this progress appears to have reached a plateau in the three years since they joined the Football League, as it has become apparent that the teams that they are now playing have much larger populations from which to recruit their support, and as a result these clubs generally enjoy larger attendances for each home game, together with the larger revenue that this generates. The minimum requirements for a stadium to comply with the current regulations of The Football League is a capacity of 6,000, and it is therefore not exactly clear why Boston United Football Club, or their proposed landlords Lavaflow Limited, would wish to construct a stadium with a capacity of 7,500 spectators, given that the average current attendance of home games is only around 2,500. The 1,500 additional seats could add an additional capital cost of around £1,500,000 just for the stadium alone, without the associated additional car parking construction costs, etc. Surely, this must raise doubts as to why the applicant has applied for a 7,500 capacity stadium, and what additional income streams, in additional to football, are envisaged by the applicants, to support this level of investment?

Indeed, the Chairman of Boston United Football Club, Mr Jon Sotnick has stated publicly, in the local newspapers, that the main reason why Boston United must relocate to a new stadium is so that the football club can develop new income streams. However, this would appear to contradict the actions that the football club has taken under the chairmanship of Mr Sonick, as the football club opened a new club shop on the corner of Wide Bargate and Pen Street, rather than using the temporary buildings for the club shop, that had already been installed by the previous management on the York Street car park.

If the main reason for relocating Boston United Football Club -- from an easily accessible location close to the town centre to a location on the town's periphery which is nowhere near as readily accessible by public transport -- is purely financially driven, then it might reasonably be questioned whether the applicant has conducted a full and thorough investigation into the possibility of either refurbishing - or indeed redeveloping - the existing York Street Ground, as this would appear to meet central government planning policy in far more respects than the current proposals for a new stadium on greenfield land in the open countryside.

Equally, central government is also supporting the use of the football club to reach sections of the local community for such purposes as education, health, lifestyle, etc which a refurbished (or redeveloped) York Street Stadium could provide to the local community. However, it is doubtful if the proposals submitted could offer such essential community services, due to the out of town location.

Should it be determined that Boston United Football Club should relocate to the proposed site off the Boardsides, questions are then raised about the detail design of the stadium and whether the current design is appropriate and congenial from the visual aspect with the "Boston Woods" proposals. Indeed, it could be argued that the design of the proposed stadium is traditional at best, if not dated, and that the design of such a new facility, in this particular location, should be looking to the future, and incorporating such features as earth sheltered structures, which would be less visually intrusive. Indeed, should guidance be taken from the football authorities regarding the orientation of the football pitch, the proposals should be rotated to respect the path of the sun, so that games are not postponed due to frozen pitches as a result of the overshadowing of the surrounding structures. It could be argued that should such a new facility be constructed in this location that this new facility should also be utilising the power of both the sun and the wind, as well as collecting rainwater all year round, for use on the pitch during drier and warmer conditions.

Although it is accepted that the proposed site is near to an existing railway line, it would appear that the proposals do not contain any provision for reaching the new stadium by train. Indeed, it is believed that the applicant's proposals include a shuttle bus service from the town centre - for which a charge would presumably and eventually have to be made. This might at first sight appear preferable to private cars making the journey and adding to the traffic along Sleaford Road (which already has poor air quality and air pollution for a residential area which already exceeds the recommended level of contaminants). Equally, if the car parking on match days is seen as another income stream by the applicants, and a charge of say £5 is levied (the same as at Darlington) all this may do is encourage any supporters travelling to the stadium by private car, to seek alternative car parking facilities, in the immediate area, such as the roadsides of the existing highway network, or any other free car parking, and then for all the occupants of these vehicles to walk to the stadium, rather than pay for car parking?

Given all of the above concerns, it is concluded that the proposals are NOT properly based on analysis or the recommendation of such organisations as The Football Association, Sport England, the Football Foundation, etc, etc, etc. It is therefore suggested that it would be in the general public interests for the current application either to be withdrawn by the applicants, or in default of such action, that the application be recommended for refusal. If the applicant either withdraws the current application, or if the current application is refused, it is understood that the applicant can re-submit the proposals within 12 months, without a further fee being payable, provided the application is identical? This outcome would then protect the public interest whilst also allowing the applicants to provide the necessary supporting evidence.

If you would like to raise these or other issues then please do so by letter that can either be delivered to Mr Steve Lumb, Head of Planning & Regulatory Services, Boston Borough Council, Planning Office, The Municipal Buildings, West Street, Boston, Lincolnshire. PE21 8QR, or faxed to 01205 364604 or emailed to Steve.Lumb@boston.gov.uk. The deadline for receiving your views is February 1st.

Caught Clarke

20 Jan Boston United have signed up midfielder Jamie Clarke on a free transfer from Coca Cola League Two rivals Rochdale. The 23 year old has signed an 18 month contract with the Pilgrims and is available for tomorrow's match against Bury. He was born on 18/9/1982 in Sunderland. He started his footballing career as a scholar with Mansfield Town. After making 41 appearances and scoring one goal for Mansfield he joined Rochdale in June 2004 on a free transfer. He has made 73 appearances for the Dale scoring 1 goal - against Lincoln City last season.

Paul Ellender has been awarded the "Player of the Month" title for Coca Cola League Two for December by the Professional Footballers' Association. He will pick up the award prior to kick-off at York Street in the match against Darlington on 4th February.

Former Pilgrim Anthony Elding has been snapped up by Nationwide North side Kettering Town after falling out of favour at Stevenage Borough. The Poppies paid a club record £40,000 for the 23 year old striker. He had scored 54 goals in 110 starts for Stevenage.

Keene as mustard

14 Jan Boston United have added another talented youngster to their squad by signing up 20 year old James Keene on-loan from Premiership side Portsmouth. The young striker was born on 26/12/1985 in Wells. He began his footballing career as a Scholar at Pompey and has had loan spells with Kidderminster Harriers and AFC Bournemouth. He made his debut in the Premiership at the end of last season - coming on as a substitute for the last half hour of a 1-1 draw with Bolton Wanderers. He scored four goals in fourteen apearances for Bouremouth in his latest loan spell earlier this season.

BUFC Trialists

On their way out

13 Jan At today's hearing at Southwark Crown Court all five defendants pleaded "Not Guilty" to the charges of cheating the Public Revenue. The trial has been scheduled to commence on Monday 18th September and is expected to last for four to six weeks. The trial date was put back two weeks to allow manager Steve Evans to attend an FA coaching course at the beginning of September.

Court short

12 Jan The Pleas and Directions hearing for the case against former chairman Pat Malkinson, general manager John Blackwell, team manager Steve Evans, club director and accountant Brian James and bookkeeper Ian Lee will take place at Southwark Crown Court tomorrow. The case relates to charges of conspiring to cheat the public revenue by avoidance of payment of PAYE and National Insurance between 1997 and 2001. The hearing will begin at 12 noon in Court 11. The purpose of the hearing is to ensure that all necessary steps have been taken in preparation for trial and to provide sufficient information for a trial date to be arranged. At this hearing, each defendant will enter a plea.

Boston United have made two short term loan-signings from struggling Premiership sides to bolster their depleted squad. Midfielder Gary Silk has joined from Portsmouth and right winger Peter Till from Birmingham City. Silk was born on 13/9/1984 in Newport, Isle of Wight. The 21 year old has yet to make his first team debut for Pompey, but had a loan spell with Wycombe Wanderers last season that saw him turn out 28 times for the Chairboys. Peter Till was born on 7/9/1985. The 20 year old came up through the Academy at Birmingham and was included on the first team subs' bench on a few occasions last season without playing. However, he finally made it on to the pitch for the last five minutes of Birmingham's 2-0 win over Scunthorpe United in this season's Carling Cup second round. A loan spell with Scunthorpe followed that has seen him make 10 appearances for the Iron.

Ben Futcher Defender Ben Futcher has left the club to join local rivals Grimsby Town on a free transfer. Futcher only joined Boston last summer when he signed from Lincoln City. Recently out-of-favour, the move came as no great surprise. He scored 3 goals in his 18 appearances for the Pilgrims, unfortunately though 2 of the goals were own goals. A condition of the deal is that Futcher will not play in the match against Boston at Grimsby later this season.


Out with the old

9 Jan With their new focus on youth, Boston United have completed a swap deal with Northampton Town that sees 34 year old striker Jason Lee depart and 22 year old midfielder David Galbraith join. Manager Steve Evans told the club's official web site: "In simple terms, Jim Rodwell tells me that we cannot afford older players in today’s market." Galbraith's loan-spell with the club was due to end this week. His new deal runs until the end of the season. Lee had scored 15 goals in 58 starts since joining from Falkirk in July 2004. Jason Lee

Teenage Kicks

6 Jan Boston United have signed up teenage midfielder Asa Hall from Premiership strugglers Birmingham City to fill the gap left by the departure of David Noble to Bristol City. England Youth International Hall has joined the Pilgrims on a one month loan deal and is eligible for Saturday's match against Macclesfield Town. A product of the Youth Academy at the Blues and a regular in their reserve side, he has yet to make the break through to first team action. He was born on 29/11/1986 in Sandwell.

Striker Noel Whelan has been granted a few weeks compassionate leave by club chairman Jon Sotnick in order to deal with some personal issues. Whelan has checked in to the Sporting Chance alcohol rehabilitation centre in Hampshire that was set up by former Arsenal star Tony Adams.

January Sales

David Noble

4 Jan With the January transfer window now open there are expected to be some comings and goings at Boston United over the next few days. The first player to leave is David Noble who has signed a two and a half year deal with Bristol City after impressing in his loan-spell with the club. Boston will receive an undisclosed five figure fee for Noble.

Rumours abound about other players that may be on their way out. Jason Lee has been linked with Notts County and Northampton Town, Francis Green may be recalled by Lincoln City and Danny Thomas, Nathan Abbey and Ben Futcher seem to be out of favour and might be allowed to leave.

Young goalkeeper Conrad Logan has been offered an extension to his loan deal that would see him stay at Boston until the end of the season.

Def Con One for Lincoln Game

24 Dec Boston United have made an emergency signing to solve their current goalkeeping crisis. With on-loan keeper Michel Kuipers returning to Brighton last week, Nathan Abbey still away at Leyton Orient and youngster Chris Wright suffering from a hamstring strain, the club were left without any goalkeeping options coming into their busy Christmas schedule. This allowed them to invoke the procedures that let League clubs sign-up emergency goalkeepers, despite the transfer window being closed. So manager Steve Evans has spent much of the last few days hunting for a new goalkeeper and he has now agreed terms with Championship side Leicester City to bring their third choice goalkeeper Conrad Logan to the club. Evans has been very impressed with Logan in the recent friendly games between the two clubs and has put the nineteen year old straight into the squad for the Lincoln City game on the Boxing Day at Sincil Bank. Logan was born on 18th April 1986 in Ireland. He is a Republic of Ireland Under 18 international.

Football League Supporters Survey

12 Dec The Football League are carrying out a survey to let supporters of Football League clubs tell them what they think about the football they watch. So if you want to let them know what you think about such issues as the introduction of goal-line technology, the use of sin bins, the quality and range of goods sold in your club shop, how you rate the club's official web site, whether you get value for money etc, then get voting! You also get a chance to win a pair of tickets for a football final at the new Wembley stadium by sending in your survey form. You can complete the survey on-line at the Football League's web site (www.football-league.co.uk) until 31st January 2006.

Two in, three out

24 Nov Boston United have been busy on the day that the Football League loan transfer window closes until January 2006. Two players have joined the club and three will be leaving. Dutch goalkeeper Michel Kuipers has joined for a month from Brighton & Hove Albion, whilst Nathan Abbey has left to join League Two rivals Leyton Orient. Another arrival is 21 year old left sided midfielder David Galbraith from Northampton Town, again for a one month loan spell. Steve Melton, who has yet to feature for the Pilgrims first team this season after recovering from injury has left to join Conference side Tamworth. Ian Ross's loan spell from Sheffield United is due to end on Saturday.

One in, one out, one grand fine

22 Nov Talented midfelder David Noble has left the club to join League One side Bristol City on-loan with a view to a permanent move when the transfer window reopens. Boston United will receive a five-figure fee if the transfer goes ahead in January.

Striker Francis Green will be joining the club from local rivals Lincoln City in another loan-move. The former Peterborough United forward began his playing career with Ilkeston Town. He joined the Posh for £25,000 in March 1998 and made 126 appearances for them, scoring 16 goals before moving on to Lincoln for £75,000 in September 2003. He has scored 17 goals in 94 appearances for the Imps. He was born on 23/4/1980 in Derby. A clause in the loan contract states that Green will not be allowed to play in the derby match between Lincoln City and Boston United at Sincil Bank on Boxing Day.

Steve Evans has been hit with a £1000 fine by the FA for a breach of FA Rule E3 - abusive and/or insulting words towards a Match Official during the match against Peterborough United on 1st October. However, the fine will only have to be paid if Evans breaches the rule again at any time during the next 12 months. He has also been warned as to his future conduct.

FA Cup fixture changed

18 Nov Boston United's FA Cup second round match against Doncaster Rovers has been moved back a day to Sunday 4th December. This decision has been made following discussions between the club and the police and the FA. The match will be all ticket for Doncaster fans and also for home fans who wish to use the Staffsmart Stand. Home fans who want to use the York Street Stand or Spayne Road Terrace will be able to pay for entrance on the day. Kick-off will be at 2pm.

Supporters' Trust Recruitment Drive

14 Nov The Boston United Supporters Trust will be actively recruiting new members at the upcoming home matches. The following leaflet will be distributed to fans attending the games at York Steet.

By the Fans, for the Fans
Bulletin No. 1
Issued by the Working Group for the Inception of a BUFC Supporters' Trust

Guest Speakers at the meeting will include Mr Phil Tooley (Chesterfield Football Supporters' Society Limited and Board member of Supporters' Direct), and Mr Rick Keracher (Lincoln City Supporters' Trust).

What exactly is "the Working Group for the Inception of a BUFC Supporters' Trust"?
We are a group of Boston United fans. We joined forces last summer because we had a number of serious and valid concerns for the future of our football club, including its long term financial viability and indeed its continued existence. We meet in Boston before every home game. We have a website providing more information and an email contact address (details of which can be found at the foot of the page).

What do you hope to achieve?
Our aim is to establish a Supporters' Trust, so that eventually the club can be owned by the fans, for the fans. A Supporters' Trust is a not-for-profit organisation with no shareholders, and strict rules are already in place regarding the way Trusts can be run. Democracy, transparency, and openness in the way their business affairs are carried out are of particular importance, and it should be emphasized that any fan can stand for election to the Trust Board. We already have links with other fans at Football League clubs where Supporters' Trusts have now become established, and some of these Trusts have now reached the stage where the fans actually own and run the football clubs themselves.

The club may relocate. What are your views on this?
Any proposed changes with regard to where the club plays must be formulated on the basis that the move must leave the club debt-free, playing in the Football League, and controlling its own destiny through the ownership of its own football ground. We have been extremely fortunate in that the club has benefited from Mr Pat Malkinson's goodwill and generosity over many years, but circumstances can sometimes change, and we need to ensure that all necessary safeguards to maintain the club's existence are in place.

How do we form a Supporters' Trust at Boston United?
There are several essential steps that need to take place if we are to succeed in establishing a Trust which is eligible for funding from Supporters' Direct (our parent body). The first is to hold an Open Meeting, which all supporters, club staff and officials, and local councillors are invited to attend. Details of the Open Meeting have been published in the local press recently, and there is more information both on our website and at the end of this bulletin.

I love my club but I do not have time to be involved with the running of a Supporters' Trust. So what else can I do to help?
You can do a lot!
By attending the forthcoming Open Meeting, and giving us your support and your vote, you will be providing us with a mandate to move forward and establish the Trust. And if you can spare some of your time, we are looking to swell our ranks of volunteers, and we shall be actively recruiting new members at the Open Meeting!

All this sounds fine - but how do I keep in touch?
You can contact the Working Group for the Inception of a Boston United Supporters' Trust at www.bufcst.co.uk or email members@bufcst.co.uk

FA Cup draw

6 Nov In this afternoon's draw for the second round of the FA Cup, Boston United will get to play against Doncaster Rovers or Blackpool at York Street providing they overcome Swindon Town in the first round replay on Wednesday week. The draw was made at the FA Headquarters in Soho Square, London just after 3pm. Martin Peters picked the home teams and Ian St John the away teams. The second round match is scheduled for Saturday 3rd December. Winners of second round games will receive £24,000 in prize money.

Doncaster won their first round match 4-1 against Blackpool later in the afternoon, with two goals apiece from Paul Heffernan and Michael McIndoe. The last time Doncaster played at York Street was in May 2004, when a 0-0 draw was sufficient to ensure that Doncaster were promoted from Nationwide League Division Three as champions.

Loan Star Award

6 Nov Boston United's on-loan midfielder Ian Ross has won the Coca-Cola League Two Powerade "Player of the Month" award for October. He was selected by the panel led by Chris Kamara and the award was announced on Sky Sports "Goals on Sunday" programme. The other nominated players were Ricky Lambert of Rochdale, Kevin Betsy of Wycombe Wanderers and Dave Challinor of Bury. The Sheffield United youngster has scored three goals in his six appearances for Boston during October - two from the penalty spot and one direct from a free-kick.

Big Girl's Blouse

3 Nov After failing to win the Coca-Cola League Two Manager of the Month Award for October, Boston United manager Steve Evans launched an amazing tirade against the award panel on the club's official web site. He said: "The results for October for each team are clearly there for all to see, except if you are Chris Kamara or one of his little judges. Everyone apart from them will know that the result in relation to the Coca-Cola League Two Powerade manager of the month award for October stinks, but try as they might, they will not convince us that their decision was not influenced by others."

When announcing the award - which went to Martin Ling of table topping Leyton Orient - Kamara said: "Martin deserves all the accolades for the way in which his side have fought back to the top of League 2 this month. Their away win at Grimsby was a massive result and to remain unbeaten, in what is a very competitive league, just goes to show what great form they have been in."

Steve Evans


Boston United Supporters' Trust Meeting

1 Nov The Working Group for the Inception of a Boston United Supporters' Trust has arranged an Open Meeting on Monday 28th November 8pm to be held at the Assembly Rooms, Boston. The Open Meeting invites all the supporters, players, directors, Board and management team of Boston United Football Club to attend to come and hear about Supporters Direct and the principles and philosophy behind the Supporters' Trust movement.

The meeting should provide a good opportunity to explain about what has happened at other clubs and for fans to hear about other Supporters' Trusts. The meeting also intends to relate both the theory of Trust formation and experiences from other Trusts around the country to the situation at our club. The ultimate purpose of the Open Meeting is also to encourage more supporters' to join the Working Group in order to take the idea forward, having first obtained the mandate of the meeting to proceed with the formation of a Trust.

The Working Group also hopes to reach agreement on some objectives. Other supporters' trusts have come up with ideas such as constructing a better relationship with the club; raising money to buy a shareholding in the club; uniting divided supporter factions at the club, or simply playing a greater role in the life of the club, to list a few examples.

The Open Meeting will be as open, inclusive and transparent as possible. The Working Group will be informing the club and its officials, other supporters' groups, local MPs, councillors and the local media in the next few days. For further information log onto the Working Group website: www.bufcst.co.uk

Flying Mullet wings off

Lee Taylor 1 Nov Physiotherapist Lee Taylor - the Flying Mullet - has left the club with immediate effect, citing personal reasons for his departure. The club's Centre of Excellence physio Julie Frost has now been given the additional responsibility of looking after the first team's medical matters. Lee joined the club back in September 2004 after Jim Woods left the club. He was well known for his entertaining if somewhat eccentric columns in the matchday magazine and will be a hard act to follow.

Football club folds

29 Oct With a limited squad which the manager was finding increasingly difficult to motivate, Neil has decided to disband Patter United. The club were formed in the summer of 2004 and all the players had a shared interest in Boston United via the Pilgrims' Patter discussion list. They played in the Boston Sunday League Division One. Only four weeks ago they won their first match of the season when they defeated Railway Hotel 3-2.

Manager Neil Avison said: "I really thought we had something this season and were improving but too many times there was only myself on the bench when we needed someone to change the game. What looked good after the YS Charity Game never materialised unfortunately and I never had the strength in depth or sometimes in the starting eleven to try out new tactics or formations. I have a list of eight names for tomorrow and one of those is on call that was why the step was taken to cancel the game and after consulting Ray we decided that the only option was to disband the team. It's a shame because I really enjoyed it all (even the defeats when we played well) but we cannot go on not knowing whether we have a team or not and I could not go on worrying all week about who was available. I want to thank all the players personally for what we achieved and hope we can pick a Friday night and a venue for a get together so I can do so." Neil Avison

Youth team boss leaves

28 Oct Boston United's "Head of Youth" Neil Richardson has left the club by "mutual consent". Steve Welsh, who recently joined the club from Spalding United, has been put in charge of the youth team with immediate effect. Richardson has been running the youth team since April following the departure of Daral Pugh - who set up the club's Centre of Excellence in August 2003.

Ross returns

26 Oct Ian Ross has returned to Boston United on another loan spell after Sheffield United were knocked out of the Carling Cup on Tuesday night. Steve Evans reached agreement with Neil Warnock for the nineteen year old to return and he will be available again for Saturday's match against Torquay United.

Noel Whelan however will be out of action for a few weeks as he is suffering from a groin strain and has undergone corrective surgery to sort the problem out.

Ross loss

24 Oct Ian Ross has returned to Sheffield United a few days before the end of his two month loan spell with the Pilgrims so that he can play for the Blades in their third round Carling Cup match at Reading. Whilst with Boston Ross scored three goals in twelve appearances. Manager Steve Evans hopes to bring in further loan players to make up for the loss of Ross.

Vote for Bazza

23 Oct After last year's vote to decide each club's "cult hero", BBC's Football Focus programme is now trying to put together an all-time Cult XI from last years' winners. Boston United's "cult hero" was record breaking goalkeeper Paul Bastock, so if you would like to see him make the BBC's Cult XI then vote for him by texting BASTOCK to 81111. Full details are on the Football Focus web site.

FA Cup Draw

22 Oct Boston United have been drawn away at Coca Cola League One side Swindon Town in the first round proper of the FA Cup. Swindon are currently bottom of the table. They are five points adrift of the nearest team and haven't won a League match since beating Yeovil Town on 27th August. They lost the following eight League games on the trot. Swindon have also been having problems with HM Customs & Revenue. In January they defaulted on a £600,000 VAT bill which was eventually paid by the club's benefactor and a property firm. Then in August they received an insolvency order, but that bill has now also been paid. The club's attempt to move from the County Ground to a new out-of-town stadium at the Shaw Forest Community site was rejected after public opposition. Boston have faced Swindon once before - in the LDV Vans Trophy in 2003. Boston won that game 2-1 with Adebayo Akinfenwa getting a last minute winner for the Pilgrims at York Street. The match is scheduled to be played on Saturday 5th November.

LDV Vans Draw

22 Oct Boston United have been drawn against Kidderminster Harriers at York Street in the second round of the LDV Vans Trophy. Kidderminster are currently in twelfth place in the Nationwide Conference. They beat Darlington 2-1 in the first round courtesy of goals by Wayne Hatswell and Gareth Sheldon after Darlington had taken the lead with a penalty by Guylain Ndumbu-Nsungu. The match is scheduled to be played in the week commencing 21st November. It will provide a welcome return to Boston for former Pilgrim Lee Thompson who signed up with the Harriers after being released by Boston at the end of last season. Lee Thompson

Evans in more hot water

10 Oct Boston United's manager is once again in trouble with the Football Association. He has been charged with a breach of FA Rule E3 - abusive and/or insulting words towards a Match Official during the match against Peterborough United on 1st October. He has until 21st October to respond. A similar charge last season resulted in a £750 fine and Evans had to sign a written undertaking as to his future conduct. The club were also fined £100,000 in 2002 for contractual irregularities during Evans first period in charge of the club.

Boston United have announced they will be appointing Steve Welsh as a coach - working with both the first team and the club's Centre of Excellence. Welsh has left his current job as manager of Unibond League side Spalding United to take up his new post. As a player the defender turned out for Peterborough United, Partick Thistle, Dunfermline Athletic, Ayr United and Lincoln City. He was born in Glasgow on 19/4/1968. The appointment comes after continued criticism of the coaching abilities of Steve Evans and Paul Raynor.

Major shareholder quits

5 Oct Nigel Clempson - the major shareholder in the Lavaflow consortium that owns Boston United FC - has resigned from both Lavaflow and the Board of Boston United. Chairman Jon Sotnick told the club's official web site: "I would like to convey my deepest thanks to Nigel Clempson who due to work commitments has made the decision to resign as a director of the football club. His own business has just been awarded a large contract, which means he will be unavailable for most Saturdays for the foreseeable future."

Futcher future

Ben Futcher 5 Oct Ben Futcher has been attracting interest from Yeovil Town and Rotherham United, both sides are considering taking the tall defender on-loan. Futcher has been left out of the last two starting line-ups - Paul Ellender and Alan White being preferred. He has scored two own goals this season.

Bow Street Magistrates Court

30 Sep Pat Malkinson, John Blackwell, Steve Evans, Brian James and Ian Lee all appeared at Bow Street Magistrates Court this morning to hear a charge of conspiring to cheat the public revenue. The charges relate to the avoidance of payment of PAYE and National Insurance between 1997 and 2000. All five were ordered to appear at Southwark Crown Court on 13th January at 10 o'clock. All were unconditionally bailed until that date.

Steve Evans and John Blackwell leave the Court

Another month for Ross

26 Sep Nineteen year old Ian Ross has extended his loan period with Boston United for a further month after impressing during his initial loan spell. The young Sheffield United midfielder has turned out six times for the Pilgrims since joining at the end of August, scoring one goal.

Pilgrim Panther in Grand National

26 Sep Boston United's mascot - the Pilgrim Panther - was one of the sixty of so mascots that enterered the annual "Mascot Grand National" at Huntingdon racecourse yesterday. The race - which has been run every year since 1999 - involves mascots from League and Non-League football clubs, as well as assorted charities, racing around a special course with six fences to produce one of the funniest sites to be seen on a racecourse. It was the first time the Boston United mascot had entered the race and after a slow start he finished in the middle of the pack - a very creditable performance by sixteen year old Stevie Owens in the Panther suit. Pilgrim Panther

Taxing times

Pat Malkinson

Pat Malkinson

22 Sep It has been revealed today that five people associated with Boston United Football Club are to face charges of conspiracy to defraud the public revenue. Team Manager Steve Evans, General Manager John Blackwell, former chairman and owner of the club Pat Malkinson, former accountant Brian James and former book keeper Ian Lee have all been charged. The first hearing of the case will take place at Bow Street Magistrates' Court in London on Friday 30th September at 10am.

Current club Chaiman Jon Sotnick has issued a statement saying that no charges have been issued against the football club and that the charges relate to a period between April 1997 and July 2001 - well before the current owners purchased the club.

Back in the summer of 2002, Steve Evans and Pat Malkinson faced an FA Enquiry after being accused of variety of charges of contractual irregularities involving player contracts. Found guilty of all charges, Evans was fined £8000 and suspended for 20 months and Malkinson was fined £5250 and suspended for 13 months. Boston United Football Club were also found guilty of six breaches of FA rules and were fined £100,000 and docked four points from the commencement of the 2002/3 season - their first in the Football League. Steve Evans was reappointed as Boston United manager the day after his suspension period ended.

Forum protest

14 Sep Boston United chairman Jon Sotnick will be answering fans' questions about the proposed relocation of both Boston United and Boston Town football clubs at a Fans' Forum tonight. The event begins at 7.00pm at the Assembly Rooms in Boston Market Place. It is expected that many difficult questions will be asked about the controversial and complex planning application that was recently submitted to Boston Borough Council. Representatives from the Staffordshire based Mining and Waste Management consultants Wardell Armstrong, who helped with the planning application, will also be on hand to provide information.

Boston United have run up huge debts in getting promoted to the Football League and maintaining their position there. Mr Sotnick recently revealed that if any part of the planning application fails then Boston United will be wound up as the debts can only be paid from the profits to be made by relocating.

A protest against the proposed move of Boston Town from their current Tattershall Road ground to Wyberton attracted hundreds of people on Sunday. The local community favours using the land earmarked for Town's new ground as a children's play area and wild flower meadow rather than a football ground and clubhouse. It is a quiet community and that is the way they want it to stay.

County Cup Final

13 Sep The final of the Lincs Senior Cup between Boston United and Scunthorpe United has been scheduled for Wednesday 19th October at York Street, kick-off 7.45pm. Boston reached the final by beating Lincoln City 3-2 on penalties after the game had finished in a 3-3 draw. Scunthorpe beat Grimsby on penalties in the other semi-final after that had finished in a 0-0 draw.

Sportsfunds Sports Funds

12 Sep The Working Group for the Inception of Boston United Supporters' Trust will be raising questions related to the Lavaflow Consortium and the involvement of Sportsfunds (Boston) Limited, the owners of Boston Town FC's ground at the Fans' Forum which is due to be held at 7:00 p.m. this Wednesday (14th September) at the rearranged venue of The Assembly Rooms, Market Place, Boston. The new forum will concentrate on issues relating to the proposed relocation of Boston United and Boston Town football clubs. Chairman Jon Sotnick, vice-chairman Nigel Clempson, director Jim Rodwell and representatives of planning consultants Wardell Armstrong will be present to answer questions. A forum on team issues will be held at a later date.

Holland out for six weeks

7 Sep Midfielder Chris Holland has been ruled out for up to six weeks following an operation to sort out a hernia on Wednesday morning. Holland was examined by Harley Street experts on Monday and was quickly booked in for the required operation. The operation was successful and will take between four and six weeks to fully heal.

Day trip by coach

6 Sep Former Stoke City manager Tony Pulis, who was sacked last June for failing to exploit the foreign transfer market after taking the Potters to 12th place in the Championship, has attended a Boston United training session this morning. One of Steve Evans' many friends, Pulis has cast an eye over the players and has also recommended two potential first team coaches for the club.

Transfer deadline moves

31 Aug Gavin Johnson has left Boston United on transfer deadline day to join local League Two rivals Northampton Town. The 34 year old only joined Boston back in June - from Colchester United. He made four first team appearances for the club - one as a substitute.

Coming the other way, striker Lawrie Dudfield has joined the Pilgrims from the Cobblers. Born on 7/5/1980 in London, Dudfield started his footballing career with Kettering Town, before joining Leicester City in 1998. Loan spells with Lincoln City and Chesterfield followed before he was snapped up for £250,000 by Hull City. He moved on to Northampton Town and then Southend United, before returning to the Cobblers this summer.

Gavin Johnson
Daryl Clare

Striker Daryl Clare has also left the club to join Conference side Crawley Town for a five figure fee. Since returning to Boston United from Chester City last November he has failed to find the form that saw him become top scorer at the club in 2001/2. He has only scored 3 goals in 20 appearances in his second spell with the club.

The club expects to sign two more players on-loan next week when the Football League loan-signings window reopens.

A matter of trust

28 Aug The first meeting of the feasibility study group for the inception of a Boston United Supporter's Trust was held on Saturday 27th August, 2005. This consisted of a small group of Boston United supporters discussing the possibility of setting up a Supporters' Trust in accordance with guidelines of the Supporters Direct organisation.

Supporters Direct is a government initiative, funded by public money, with offices in London and Glasgow. Their aim is to help people "who wish to play a responsible part in the life of the football club they support" and they offer support, advice and information to groups of football supporters. Supporters Direct exists to:

In order to promote and achieve this, they work to bring about the following objectives:

To qualify for the assistance of Supporters Direct, supporters groups must be:-

Dale Allitt, the Chairman of the Boston United Supporters' Association (BUSA) was also invited to the meeting and attended. Dale provided the group with the history of previous attempts to establish such a Trust and provided an update to some of the issues regarding the possible relocation of Boston United.

The broad view of those present, was that it was felt, in principle, a football club like Boston United would be well served by having a Supporters' Trust although what form this trust would take, would need to be decided by all the fans of Boston United.

It was agreed to change the group's name to "The Working Group for the Inception of a Boston United Supporter's Trust".

It is difficult to be precise about the time scale for the formation of a supporters' trust for Boston United. A Supporters' Trust would need to have discussions with Supporters' Direct and take advice. Other stakeholders, and most importantly the fans and Boston United Football Club would need to be closely involved.

Consultation will also need to take place with The Football Association, The Football League, and The Football Foundation.

The group is aware that The Football Authorities are keen to welcome more female players into the sport, and are recommending that new facilities should include suitable changing facilities. The group needs to be cognisant of this, and see if the club's plans for redevelopment have reflected this.

BUSA is already in place and works very effectively as a Supporters' Association and has two representatives on the Board of Boston United.

BUSA also ticks all of the boxes in terms of the requirements of Supporters' Direct.

Therefore, it would seem sensible to ask BUSA if it would consider being the starting point for establishing a Supporters' Trust, although fans and BUSA members will need to support this idea.

Work will be ongoing into the feasibility of the Trust and at some future point fans will be consulted on their views and in identifying who would be willing to stand for election to the Trust.

The BUSA Committee has also kindly extended an invitation the members of The Working Group to attend its next Committee meeting at York Street on 6th September at 7pm. The invited speaker will be Mr Phil Tooley, Consultant to Supporters Direct (www.supporters-direct.org)

New loan signing

27 Aug Boston United have signed midfielder Ian Ross from Sheffield United on a month's loan. Ross scored the goal that knocked the Pilgrims out of the Carling Cup on Tuesday night. Ross goes straight into the squad for the game against Mansfield. Ross was born in Sheffield on 13/1/1986. The Carling Cup match against Boston was his first team debut. He joined the Blades at the age of 12 and went through their Academy. He signed up as a trainee with the Blades in July 2003.

Fans' Forum

26 Aug Boston United have announced that they will be holding a Fans' Forum next month. It will take place on Wednesday 14th September at the Haven High Technology College, Marian Road, Boston PE21 9HB, starting at 7pm. Club Chairman Jon Sotnick and other members of the Board and Management team will be available to answer fans' questions about the club, including the recently submitted planning application for relocating to a proposed new stadium at Boardsides.

Fans' Forum or against 'em?

Mark Isaac
Mark Isaac

22 Aug Long-time Boston United supporter Mark Isaac has issued a statement about the club's contraversial proposed move away from the York Street ground - which has been their home since the club's formation in 1933.

The statement reads: "The recent sabre-rattling by Jon Sotnick, Chairman of Boston United, has concerned a significant number of supporters of the club. According to Jon Sotnick and the Lavaflow consortium, it is imperative that they receive planning permission for their ambitious plans to concrete over the York Street ground, and with the capital receipt from the sale, build a new out of town stadium and pay off all current creditors. However, despite many pleas by supporters for more detailed information of the plans, the costs and how much the club would need to borrow and over what period of time, very little has been forthcoming”.

“The recent and rather precipitous announcement by the Chairman makes one wonder whether the Lavaflow consortium is getting cold feet about the amount of money it is investing in Boston United with still no sign of any return on the horizon”.

"Significantly supporters only found out very recently why there was a limitation on developing the York Street end of the ground owing to a mains sewer running through the car park. This information had been known by directors at Boston United for some time but noone had thought to share this with supporters".

Mr Isaac said he was quite simply astounded that Jon Sotnick hoped to get Boston United Supporters' Association (BUSA) to orchestrate a "Say Yes to Planning" campaign, when BUSA itself seems to be completely divided on the matter.

"I can empathise very strongly with Dale Allitt and the very difficult position he must be in presently. But if BUSA can't make up its mind, and it has a member on the Board of Boston United, how can we the supporters and the lifeblood of the club, possibly support the plans for relocation?".

"In my personal view the reluctance of Jon Sotnick to answer these important questions, and dispel the mistrust that some fans feel by revealing the composition of Lavaflow Ltd, is very disappointing".

"There have been numerous changes to the membership of Lavaflow Ltd and the timings seem curious. Work is therefore ongoing into listing the past and current membership and shareholdings of the Consortium, whom, we have been told by Jon Sotnick, are football-loving investors, just to make sure there are no more surprises around the corner".

Jon Sotnick has promised to hold a Fans' Forum at the club in the next few weeks so that supporters can discover his rationale for the proposed move. The planning application for the new out-of town stadium was submitted to Boston Borough Council last Thursday.


Jon Sotnick
Jon Sotnick

Members of the public will be given the opportunity to object to the plans. Valid planning matters will vary with each application but may include:

Similarly, matters that are not usually valid planning objections include:

Boardsides or bust

17 Aug Club chairman Jon Sotnick has revealed to the Boston Standard that if the planning application for a new out-of-town stadium at Boardsides is turned down by Boston Borough Council, then the club will go out of business. The club is in debt to the Inland Revenue and Customs and Excise to the tune of £1 million and hopes that a move from their current town-centre York Street ground will raise the money required to wipe out the debt. Sotnick also revealed that since his consortium took over the club in February 2004, it has been losing £200,000 per season. He expects that the corporate hospitality suites that are planned for the new stadium will generate sufficient extra income to cover these losses. The club will be submitting the planning application in the next 48 hours. The complex plans involve the relocation of Boston Town from their Tattershall Road ground to a new ground at Wyberton Low Road and housing developments at both York Streeet and Tattershall Road. The plans for the new stadium complex at Boardsides include a new hotel and restaurant. If the plans fail to get approval then the club will not be able to go into administration as it has no assets to administer.

York Street

Soon to be demolished?

New Boston United web site

2 Aug The Boston Standard has launched a new Boston United website called Pilgrims Today. The new site supplements the newspaper's coverage of Boston United with additional news stories, match previews, match reports and a column written by Chris Holland. You can visit Pilgrims Today via links on the Boston Standard web site. Chris Holland

Leeds match off

28 July Tonight's friendly match against Leeds United has been postponed due to a waterlogged pitch at York Street.

Leicester game to be re-re-rearranged!

24 July Following the decision of Inter Milan to stick with their tour of England, this now means that Leicester CIty are no longer free to play Boston United on Monday night. The match will be rearranged for a later date.

Leicester game moved again!

24 July Following the withdrawal of Inter Milan from their tour of England, this now means that Leicester CIty no longer have a fixture on Monday 25th July. They have therefore decided to play the pre-season friendly at Boston on this free date. The kick-off on Monday night will be at 7:30pm. The game had originally been scheduled for Sunday 24th, but was temporarily switched to Monday 1st August due to player unavailability at Leicester.

Sunday's game off

22 July The friendly match at York Street with Championship side Leicester City scheduled for this Sunday (24th July) has been called off. Leicester City requested the postponement as they have a number of players unavailable for the match. The game has been rearranged for Monday 1st August, kick off at 7:30pm. The fixture was being promoted as part of a double header Midlands weekend festival of football at York Street as Nottingham Forest are due to visit on Saturday afternoon. The Forest fixture is unaffected and special combined "double header" tickets will still be valid for both matches. Anyone with a double header ticket who cannot make the rearranged Leicester game should contact the club ticket office (01205 364406).

Grantham game off

20 July The friendly match between Grantham and Boston United reserves scheduled for this Friday (22nd July) has been called off. The match clashed with a coaching session that was to be attended by many of the youth team players. Manager Steve Evans has promised to send over his first team to play at Grantham early in the new season instead.

Joachim comes home

4 July Leeds United striker Julian Joachim has agreed to join Boston United on a two year contract. Just a week ago, the 30 year old had been told by Leeds United manager Kevin Blackwell that he still had a part to play at the club, despite only making 13 first team starts since joining from Coventry City last summer. After finishing the season with a highly successful loan period with Coca-Cola League One side Walsall - where he found the net 6 times in 8 appearances, Joachim expressed a desire for regular first team football. It was that desire that led him to agree to sign up for the club in the town where he spent his schooldays. He began his footballing career in the youth team of Boston FC, but was soon spotted by Leicester City where he signed up as a trainee. After scoring 31 goals in 92 starts for Leicester a £1.5 million transfer to Aston Villa beckoned in February 1996. In the summer of 2001 he joined Coventry City in a swap deal that saw African Player of the Year Mustapha Hadji heading for Villa Park. After three seasons with Coventry he joined Leeds United on a free transfer. Overall he has scored 83 goals in 331 League appearances. He was born in Peterborough on 20/9/1974.

Boston United's Coca-Cola League Two match at Macclesfield Town has been moved from Saturday 3rd September to Sunday 4th September to avoid a clash with England's World Cup qualifying match against Wales on the Saturday. The kick-off time on the Sunday will be 3.00pm.

Carling Cup draw

28 June The draw for the first round of the Carling Cup was made at 7.00am this morning. Boston United were in the Northern Section and have been drawn away against Coca Cola Championship side Sheffield United. The match is due to take place on Tuesday 23rd August. The last time the two clubs met in a competitive match was back in 1982 when the Blades won 5-1 in a second round replay in the FA Cup. They first met in the inaugural Mather Cup match in 1947 which Boston won 3-2.

Another summer signing

27 June Boston United have continued their close season signings by adding midfielder Stuart Talbot from Brentford to their squad. The 33 year old signed a two year deal with the club this morning after requesting a free transfer from the Bees at the end of last season. Born in Birmingham on 14/6/73, he began his footballing career with Moor Green, helping the Beazer Homes League side win the Midland Floodlit Cup. A move into the Football League to Port Vale followed in 1994. After six seasons with the "Valiants" he joined Rotherham United in July 2000 and he had three seasons with them before having a loan spell with Shrewsbury and then a free transfer to Brentford in February 2004. He was team captain last season and saw the "Bees" reach the League One play-offs, only to be beaten in the semi-final by Sheffield Wednesday. Overall he has made 308 League appearances, scoring 23 goals. His desire to move closer to his family prompted his request for a transfer.

The season starts here

23 June The Coca-Cola League fixtures for 2005/6 were released at 10:00am this morning and they give Boston United a trip to newly relegated Wrexham on the opening day of the season on Saturday 6th August. The first home game for the Pilgrims will be against Shrewsbury Town the following Wednesday. The season finishes on Saturday 6th May at Torquay United. Over the Christmas period Boston United face Lincoln City at Sincil Bank on Boxing Day and they host Carlisle United at York Street on 28th December. The home match against Lincoln is scheduled for 18th March. In another local derby, for the first time since the late 50s Boston United come up against Peterborough United. The home game against the Posh is on 1st October, while the Pilgrims visit their London Road ground on 15th April.

The Lincs County Cup match against Lincoln City has been confirmed as being held on Saturday 30th July at Sincil Bank, kick-off at midday.

The draw for the Carling Cup first round takes place on Tuesday 28th June. The 72 clubs in the Football League have been allocated to Northern and Southern sections which are split into seeded and unseeded teams. When the draw is made for each regional section seeded teams will be drawn against unseeded teams. Boston United are an unseeded team in the Northern section. The seeded teams in the Northern section are: Derby County, Preston North End, Sheffield United, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Stoke City, Burnley, Leeds United, Leicester City, Crewe Alexandra, Hull City, Sheffield Wednesday, Nottingham Forest, Rotherham United, Tranmere Rovers, Hartlepool United, Huddersfield Town, Doncaster Rovers and Bradford City. The first round matches are scheduled for the week commencing August 22nd.

Torquay defender signs

7 June Boston United have continued their summer signing spree by getting the signature of defender Lee Canoville on a two year contract. The 24 year old began his footballing career as a trainee with Millwall. He joined Arsenal in 1997, making a single appearance from the substitutes' bench before moving on to Northampton Town. For the last four seasons he has been with Torquay United. He was born on 14/3/1981 in Ealing.

Ben Futcher becomes a Pilgrim

7 June Boston United have snapped up tall (6'7") centre half Ben Futcher from local rivals Lincoln City. The 24 year old has signed a two year deal with the Pilgrims. He has previously played for Oldham Athletic, Stalybridge Celtic and Doncaster Rovers. He has been a key member of the Lincoln City squad that has made the end of season play-offs for the last three seasons. He was born on 4/6/1981 in Bradford.

Noel Whelan leads summer signings

6 June Boston United's first signing of the summer is former Leeds United striker Noel Whelan - who joins the club on a two year deal after being released by Scottish Premier League side Aberdeen. The 30 year old had 23 starts for Aberdeen last season, picking up five goals and seven yellow cards. Born on 30/12/1974 in Leeds, he started his footballing career with Leeds United before moving on to Coventry City in a £2 million pound deal. A further £2 million pound transfer to Middlesbrough followed before spells with Crystal Palace, Millwall and Derby County. He joined Aberdeen at the start of last season on a free transfer.

Gavin Johnson has also signed up with the Pilgrims after failing to win an acceptable deal with Colchester United. After scoring ten goals for Colchester last season he was offered a six month contract for the coming season, but he turned it down to join Boston United. Born on 10/10/1970 in Stowmarket, he has previously played for Ipswich Town, Luton Town, Wigan Athletic and Dunfermline Athletic.

More signings are expected to be revealed in the next few days.

Full pre-season schedule

17 May Boston United have announced their pre-season schedule. It begins with an away game at Boston Town on 9th July and concludes with a trip to Alfreton on 2nd August. The highlights are home games against Ipswich Town, Nottingham Forest and Leeds United. The full schedule is as follows:

Sat 9th July Boston Town (A) 2.00pm
Wed 13th July Braintree Town (A) 7.45pm
Sat 16th July Ipswich Town (H) 3.00pm
Sat 23rd July Nottingham Forest (H) 3.00pm
Sun 24th July Leicester City (H) 3.00 pm
Thu 28th July Leeds United (H) 7.45pm
Mon 1st August Stamford AFC (A) 7.30pm
Tue 2nd August Alfreton Town (A) 7.30pm

In addition three games have been arranged for Boston United's reserve side:

Tue 19th July Sleaford Town (A) 7.30pm
Fri 22nd July Grantham Town (A) 7.30pm
Fri 29th July Holbeach United (A) 7.30p

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