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A rift has emerged between two semi-professional football clubs following the termination of a groundshare agreement by one of the parties.

City of Liverpool FC (CoL) finds itself without a long-term home ground for its Northern Premier League matches after Bootle FC decided to end the arrangement to share its Berry Street Garage Stadium.

This development comes in the wake of the postponement of CoL's Northern Premier League fixture against Widnes on January 20.

Bootle FC contends that CoL breached the terms of the agreement, a claim that CoL vehemently denies.

Since its establishment in 2015, CoL FC has been striving to secure a permanent venue for its matches but has encountered difficulties in doing so, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

In 2015, Bootle FC and CoL FC forged an agreement to share the Berry Street Garage Stadium situated on Vesty Business Park in Bootle, with the contract extending until 2020.

Subsequently, after a stint at Vauxhall Motors FC's VanEupen Stadium, a renewed agreement was reached between Bootle FC and CoL FC in 2022.

'Unforeseen Circumstances' In response to the postponement of the match, CoL FC issued a statement citing "completely unforeseen circumstances" as the reason behind the late cancellation.

However, clarity on the future of CoL's home fixtures was not provided until Bootle FC released a statement on Monday.

Bootle FC's statement declared: "Following a material breach of the groundshare agreement, and despite opportunities to rectify other identified breaches, the agreement between Bootle Football Club and City of Liverpool Football Club has been terminated with immediate effect."

CoL FC promptly refuted Bootle FC's allegations, labeling them as "ludicrous" and vowing to pursue appropriate measures to seek redress.

The Northern Premier League (NPL) clubs have fixtures scheduled until the conclusion of the season in April.

The league expressed disappointment that mediation offers to both clubs were not accepted.

'Landlord-Tenant Dispute' While acknowledging the dispute between the two clubs, the NPL reiterated its commitment to assisting CoL FC in fulfilling its obligations and completing its fixtures.

However, the league clarified that it lacks the authority to intervene in what essentially constitutes a landlord-tenant disagreement.

In line with FA regulations, CoL FC has until March 31 to secure a compliant groundshare agreement with another club possessing the requisite grade to maintain its position at step four of the national league system. Photo by Weloc, Wikimedia commons.