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WMC buying clubhouse calls emergency meeting

By Lynsey Bradford, Town Reporter Friday 19th October 2012

Members of a working men's club which won a lengthy legal battle to buy their clubhouse four years ago will find out on Sunday about the progress on the purchase.


Trustees of Ward Green WMC, off Mount Vernon Road, took Sam Smith's Brewery to court in 2002 after the brewery sold the building to a subsidiary in contravention of an agreement that members could buy the club.


In June 2008 the House of Lords ruled in the club members' favour and said Sam Smiths could not appeal that decision.


But four years on the sale still hasn't gone through.


The emergency meeting has been called on Sunday, and secretary Steven Szocs said it was to update members on the situation.


Steven said: "Members are exercising, after their fantastic and historical victory, their right to buy the club.


"The meeting is to inform members we have had positive meetings with a view to funding the process.


"I want to make it clear the club is not closing. That is not the case and that is not what the meeting is about.


"There are a lot of people that have been coming here for a long time and they are passionate, as are we."


The legal battle with the brewery, costing £35,000, centred around claims the club enjoyed a right to buy the clubhouse under the contract terms of its initial 1958 tenancy.


In May 2002, they gave notice to Samuel Smith's exercising the option, six months before the tenancy was due to expire.


But in December 2002, the brewery sold the clubhouse to its subsidiary, Rochdale and Manor (Builders) for just £7,996.


The trustees had the building valued at £120,000.

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