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Maidstone United chief executive Bill Williams confirms club will play at Sittingbourne FC next season

Maidstone United chief executive Bill Williams
Maidstone United chief executive Bill Williams

Maidstone United intend to play at Sittingbourne next season - whether or not they are relegated from the Ryman League Premier Division.

The Stones have ended their groundshare agreement at Ashford’s Homelands ground after two years amid concerns over dwindling crowds and the state of the playing surface.

The club’s first choice was to move to Chatham Town’s Maidstone Road, however facilities there are only up to Ryman League Division 1 South standard.

So, despite the on-field threat of relegation to that division, the Stones have struck an agreement with Sittingbourne chairman Andy Spice over a return to Bourne Park – where they last played in 2008-09 – and are just awaiting Ryman League ratification.

Stones chief executive Bill Williams (pictured) said: "It was a business decision. It was just not really working at Ashford.

"Chatham was nearer for our fans and we are trying to do the best we can for them but it would have taken a lot of money to bring the ground up to meet Premier Division standards."

Director Terry Casey told the club’s website: "Sittingbourne were prepared to offer a very competitive rent as they are keen to get the Stones supporters back to their clubhouse. The hoped-for income from bar and food sales at Ashford never materialised so to let our landlords at Sittingbourne have these takings is no loss to us."

Williams added: "Whether or not we get relegated, it’s too late now. We have an agreement with Sittingbourne."

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