ALVECHURCH FC first team face the real threat of extinction if planning permission on their current home ground Lye Meadow is given the red light by planners.

Lye Meadow has been the club's home for around 90 years but their landlords have only given them permission to stay there until 31st May 2021.

The club also pays for a 20 acre site called 'The Hayes' , situated in Birmingham, and they are looking to make it their new home ahead of the 2021/22 campaign.

But in order to pay for the minimum ground grading requirements at The Hayes, they need planning permission for houses on their existing ground (Lye Meadow).

Alvechurch have worked with developers, who are making a contribution to the club to facilitate the move to The Hayes, and were originally told by planners that the old ground was a brownfield site within green belt, which would make it acceptable for development.

However, after spending thousands in consultations to accompany the planning application, the planning officer has u-turned, saying the site was now not suitable.

Even after conceding that it is in fact 'previously developed land', they are still recommending refusal.

The situation now means that Church are having to lease two different sites but due to the impact of Covid, and almost next to no income in the last eight or nine months, the club cannot sustain the costs.

The decision is going to a Bromsgrove Planning Committee on the 1st March, having been delayed by almost a year due to the ever present coronavirus situation.

The club need the committee to reverse their decision so that the club can survive because, without it, the football club will not be able to renovate The Hayes to the standards required for step three level football.

That would almost certainly mean dropping down the football ladder and chairman Richard Thorndike says that the first team would almost certainly cease to exist.

"We have planning permission to play at our new ground but where we are as a club, we need certain things to meet our ground grading, we have certain things to comply with and we simply can't.

"The first team would go and we would have to drop down the pyramid to such a level, step 6, to play our football and I don't think we would carry on with a first team if that was to be the case.

"We were told there was 14 million pounds available across step 3 level but the FA have hinted that would be in the form of loans.

"Along with most clubs in the Northern, Isthmian and Southern leagues, we have point blank refused to take loans, we don't want to burden the club with debt without any football in sight.

"This last 12 months have crippled a lot of us because we have no income whatsoever."

The club have asked the football community to help spread the word and sign their petition to reverse the decision, you can sign up in a matter of seconds, right here.