A local businessman has stepped in to sponsor Weymouth Football Club as it struggles to survive mounting debts, according to the Dorset Echo.
Mr Stuart Barnes is paying an undisclosed ‘four-figure sum’ to advertise his Wyke Regis-based windows and conservatories company on the Terras’ shirts.
His offer follows revelations that the club could soon be asked to repay a £25,000 overdraft to Barclays bank and another five-figure sum to Danish brewing company Carlsberg.
Property developer and former club chairman Malcolm Curtis sent a letter to the Terras earlier this week warning that he would pursue ‘Weymouth FC Ltd or its directors personally’ if he does not have a £221,000 loan plus interest repaid soon.
Mr Barnes said: “If someone doesn’t do something then there is going to be no football club left and what would I do on a Saturday afternoon?
“I’ve been coming here for years and I enjoy football.It’s a shame that it’s all gone wrong for whatever reason and I want to do what I can to help.”
Terras’ general manager Andy Cooke said the cash injection should help the club overcome some of its financial difficulties.
He said: “What Stuart’s doing is fantastic and very generous. It will help the club in the short term. We have historical creditors that need paying, mainly local businesses, and this sponsorship deal gives us the opportunity to start paying some of that debt off.
“This will show the town that there is still life in the club. Stuart didn’t have to get in-volved but he has done because of his passion for the club.”
The sponsorship space bought by Mr Barnes was originally won by Tina and Steve Matthews after they entered the Terras Saviour 100 project. The project’s aim was to find 100 financial backers willing to invest £500 each in the club to help the save it from going into administration.
In return the club drew names from a hat and the winners would have their names emblazoned on the strip.
Tina and Steve Matthews’ donated the sponsorship space back to the club, leaving it free to be bought by Mr Barnes.
Terras fan Tina said: “We just wanted to help out. We never thought that we would win so it was a complete surprise to find out we had.”
She added: “We want to wish the club our best because it seems to be in such a lot of trouble – we just want to see it keep on going.”
Terras’ supporters club chairman Liz Bell also won sponsorship space on the back of the team’s shirts but has also donated it back to help out.