A FOOTBALL club without a permanent home will remain homeless at the turn of the New Year, but is hopeful of a positive outcome soon.
South Shields FC are playing their home games at Eden Lane in Peterlee having been forced to leave the borough in the summer.
The Mariners are spending this season in Peterlee after the lease on Filtrona Park expired at the end of last season.
That had been the club’s home for 20 years, and fans are now forced to make a 40-mile round trip to ‘home’ matches.
Talks between the club and South Tyneside Council have been ongoing for several months, and it was hoped a resolution would be found before the end of this year.
However, progress has been slower than anticipated, and discussions will continue to determine where South Shields will play their home games next season.
Club chairman Gary Crutwell said: “We have meetings pencilled in with the council at the turn of the year.
“We are waiting for clearance from different sides, and we should be holding further talks in the first week of January.
“We hope to have some positive news near the beginning of 2014 about the club’s move back to the town. We’re still in discussions with the council regarding securing a site for the club, and hope to know more in due course.”
Shields have seen attendances suffer since the move to Peterlee, but treasurer David Fall has paid tribute to those who have helped them settle into their temporary home.
He said: “The attendances have gone down vastly from Filtrona because of people being reluctant to travel that far, and we accepted that would happen.
“We would like to thank everyone at Peterlee for all the help we have had, and will continue to have for the rest of the season.
“We really appreciate them coming to our aid, and we have been able to bring the ground up to Northern League Division Two standard.
“It is a good quality ground, and we would love to be able to lift it up and bring it up the A19 to South Tyneside.”