ALBION and Vics will share Wincham Park for another six seasons, Witton’s chairman has confirmed, but there is ‘no question of a merger’.

Northwich Victoria have played at the home of Witton Albion for the past two seasons and the current arrangement was due to end in summer 2021.

That was previously extended by two years to summer 2023, but now a decision has been reached between Vics and the Albion to share Wincham Park until the end of 2025-26, subject to league approval.

John Salmon, Witton chairman, says the two clubs are ‘enjoying a healthy relationship of mutual cooperation and support’ under the arrangement.

He said: “Ground shares make commercial sense. It is a two-way street.

“In this case we receive much needed income and assistance with maintenance on the ground whilst they have a stable home.

“Our fierce football rivalry will always remain. There is no question of a merger.”

In a statement released today, April 29, Salmon also paid tribute to Vics for honouring their rental agreement in these difficult times.

He suggested it played a part in Albion’s improving financial position before the coronavirus pandemic.

Salmon added: “With careful financial planning, better rental income, a thriving social club combined with a restrictive playing budget our situation has improved.

“Additionally, due to the incredible generosity of supporters and shareholders we have been able to steady the ship and had already put ourselves in an excellent position before Covid-19.”

As part of the ground-sharing arrangements, gate receipts for the annual pre-season Vijay Anthwal Trophy will be split between the clubs – except for this year’s occasion, which will be donated to the NHS.

“This we feel is only fair as Vijay was a well-known GP in Northwich and liked and respected by both clubs,” Salmon said.

Meanwhile, Salmon has paid tribute to the volunteers who support the club – around 80 compared to an average matchday attendance of 370 – and the recent donations made during the pandemic.

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He added: “All this makes me extremely confident in saying that our future is positive. We can look forward to improving our football club for the benefit of all.”