CLUB GUIDE: Boston United
Boston United Football Club are an English football team based in Boston, Lincolnshire, currently playing in Football League Two.
The club was made in 1933 as a successor to Boston F.C., and had a moderate amount of success in various leagues, including the Midland League and Southern League. They were founder members of the Northern Premier League in 1968, of which they were champions four times, and of the Alliance Premier League (now the Football Conference) in 1979.
Boston finished third in the Conference in 1988-89, but were unable to build on this and were relegated to the NPL in 1993. They transferred again to the Southern League, winning the title in 2000, and went fully professional in 2001. In their first season as a professional club, Boston won the Conference and were promoted to the Football League.
However, in the wake of their promotion, Boston's manager, Steve Evans, and former chairman, Pat Malkinson, were charged with breaking the Football Association's rules over the registration of players. Both men received bans from the FA, and the club were fined and docked four points from their first season in the League. This angered some, especially at Conference runners-up Dagenham & Redbridge, who believed that any points deduction should have applied to the previous season, which would have meant Dagenham being promoted instead. Despite the penalty, Boston survived their first season in the Third Division, finishing in 15th place.
Their main rivals are Lincoln City.
The club's board is attempting to move to a new stadium and fans are in the process of setting up 'BUFCST' a supporters trust. Boston United are one of the last clubs in the league to form a supporters trust.
Since their promotion to the Football League, Boston have never really looked like challenging for promotion to the third tier of the league and most of their time since 2002 has been spent in mid-table.
On the 4th of December 2006 Bostons plans to relocate to a new stadium on The Broadsides was unanimously rejected by Boston Borough Council. This has plunged the clubs future into serious doubt. Chairman Jim Rodwell said the clubs future was 'Hanging in the balance' Rodwell confirmed that he would be meeting with shareholders over the next couple of days to determine the best course of action, but did admit that the club`s future was ultimately now in the hands of the Inland Revenue, who are owed a sizeable six-figure sum by the club.
In a statement he released to the clubs official website on the 5th of December he said: 'The club`s financial situation at the present moment is dire. I would urge all supporters and anybody interested in the future of the football club, be that investors or potential purchasers, to come forward immediately.
In November 2006 Boston manager Steve Evans pleaded guilty to 'conspiring to cheat the public revenue between 1997 and 2002'. He was given a suspended jail sentence. This admission of guilt means many football fans feel considerably less sympathy towards Boston than they have done towards other lower league clubs encountering major financial problems.
Boston United play at The Staffsmart Stadium the name recently changed from the York Street Stadium. Despite being close to many a heart due to the traditional look and central town location, former chairman Jon Sotnick has claimed it not to be up to league standard and called for a new ground, of which the planning applications are to be discussed in June 2006.
The ground has a total capacity of 6,645, (all covered). The stands are as follows:
The Staffsmart Stand
This is the only all seater stand in the ground. It holds 1323 people. The Directors seating is situated here.
The York Street Stand
This is possibly a unique stand in football. At the lower level, there are rows of terrracing. At the higher level, which can be accessed by a case of stairs, due to Football League rules, seats had to be placed in the upper teir of the stand. This used to be wooden benching. It is situated behind a goal. This stand holds 1435 people. The Announcer and P.A are situated in this stand. For the current season a temporary block of seats has been installed in the lower part of the stand.
The Spayne Road Terrace
This is a remarkably low terrace, so much so that the roofs of houses can be seen over it from the Staffsmart Stand. It holds 2064 people.
The Town End
This is a reasonably large terrace behind the goal, with good acoustics. It is allocated to away fans, and its acoustics allow just a few hundred fans to create a significant amount of noise. It holds 1821 people.