Manager says club is not under threat

The manager of a Matlock club has hit out at claims that its future is in danger.

A Facebook page called ‘Save Matlock United Services Club (Matlock) Ltd’ was set up by the club’s former treasurer, Eileen Wild, after she heard that the club’s headquarters, in Crown Square, had been sold.

The club has been based in the Princess buildings in the centre of town since 1920 and Eileen was looking for supporters to help fight the decision to sell the premises.

John Nicholson, manager at the club, claimed that the decision had been made fairly by the club’s committee with the backing of its members.

He said that the committee had held a meeting and invited its members to attend, they then voted in favour of the sale.

“The club doesn’t need saving because we haven’t closed,” John said.

“The committee is still intact, it is still having meetings.

“Most of the people who are members of the Facebook page are not members of the club.”

Ken Rice, who owns the Black Hippo, in Bakewell Road, Matlock, bought the property at auction last month.

He paid £330,000 for the leasehold on the building, which includes a number of business premises below the United Services Club.

John explained that a portion of the money made from the sale of the property would be used to pay off some of its debts and the remainder would go into club funds.

He said that over the past few years the club had struggled as a result of the smoking ban.

The location of the club has also caused problems – being upstairs it did not have good disabled access and was not known to many people.

“Half of Matlock don’t even know that we are upstairs,” John said.

“We thought it was a good idea to move to a new place and start afresh.”

The club is currently looking for new premises in the centre of town and is hoping it will be ready to open by the end of summer.