KIDLINGTON Football Club hopes to sign a contract to take over a former social club that provides essential facilities for match days.

The club says it is to sign a deal with the owners of the Yarnton Road facility so it can carry on using its bar and function room.

The facility shut in November after previous tenant Kidlington Recreational Trust Social Club ran up more than £9,000 in rent arrears.

The football club already rents another part of the building for changing rooms but the closure left it without access to the bar, rooms and toilets.

It struck an interim deal with owner the Kidlington Recreational Trust to use all of the building again from December 21.

Now secretary David Platt says the club is close to finalising the deal to formally take over the facility.

He said: “It is a huge commitment, we are aware of that. We have had regular meetings about how to run a business rather a volunteer-based football club.”

He added: “It is a big time for us because it is not the ideal time of the year to be starting a business. We are all very optimistic but there is a concern as well because we can’t let it fail.”

Bringing in a good income from the two bars and the function room – to be hired to the community – was vital, he said.

The club has more than 100 players across four sides, the men’s first team, reserves, under-18s and under-16s.

In a statement, the trust said: “The Kidlington Recreational Trust are in ongoing negotiations with our solicitors to secure a lease with Kidlington Football Club for sole use of the Yarnton road building. Current usage of the building has been permitted to the KFC following legal advice with a short interim rental agreement.”

The trust previously said it took foreclosure against the social club over “substantial and ongoing rental arrears” over two years. It said the trust could find itself in breach of Charity Commission rules if it did not collect arrears.