Redditch Tennis Club (RTC) faces an uncertain future after a row with their football club hosts turned ugly.

Players arrived at their home courts at Cherry Tree Walk in July to find they’d been locked out by Redditch Borough Football Club (RBFC) who are demanding a monthly rent of between £500 and £1,000.

RTC believes the football club wants them out so they can install an all-weather 4G pitch or create their own tennis club on the Cherry Tree Walk site. This is a claim the football club denies.

Redditch Advertiser: The two clubs have reached a stalemate in the rowThe two clubs have reached a stalemate in the row (Image: Redditch Tennis Club)

The tennis club said: “It’s all been escalating since October 2022. The amounts RBFC have been asking for are just ridiculous and unwarranted.

“We were happy to make a fair contribution to the running costs even though we don’t think we have to, but the invoices were beyond our means.”

RTC claims they have a right to use the courts under the terms of the lease between the football club and H.D.A. Sports and Social Funds Limited, an arm of Mettis, which is a major Redditch aerospace company that owns the site.

RBFC says it locked the doors to the facilities for unpaid membership fees and for RTC submitting a legal claim called adverse possession to try and take ownership of the courts without needing landowner consent.

The football club said there were no issues with RTC using the facilities before this as long as they contributed towards the running costs.

RTC said it only considered adverse possession as a last resort due to being unable to afford the invoices from RBFC with no intention of going through with it due to legal costs.

The football club claims a private coaching company, TPR Tennis, was operating at the site and the charges were supposed to be split between the business and RTC.

RBFC added: “You cannot run a successful business from a facility and not be expected to contribute towards the running costs.” 

Redditch Advertiser: The tennis club have been using the courts for 40 years The tennis club have been using the courts for 40 years (Image: Redditch Tennis Club)

The tennis club, whose members have played at Wimbledon, said the coaching puts money back into the club so TPR Tennis is already paying towards the costs of using the facilities through RTC.

RTC said: “Without the coaching team, we would be a shell of a club and by generating income, the coaching is already contributing towards costs.

“What the coaching programme has done for our club and children in the local community over the years is priceless and for this income to be questioned by RBFC is totally unnecessary.”

RTC has temporarily moved to Arrow Vale Sports Centre on Matchborough Way but has vowed to continue its battle to return to its home of more than 40 years.

Mettis has not responded to requests for a comment, but documents seen by the Advertiser show the company has told the two clubs to ‘sort it out between themselves’.