No early bath fear for Sunday footballers!

SUNDAY league cloggers playing on Northampton's Racecourse do not need to fear an early bath for the foreseeable future.

The league has revealed more than 20 football teams playing at the Northampton venue each week have been using changing rooms without running water since September.

One of the two leagues using the Racecourse has now said the coming winter will see no warmth or relief for hundreds of players.

Sue Peck, general secretary of the Northamptonshire Sunday Combination – whose teams play about a third of their fixtures on the Racecourse - explained: "The water tank on top of the building burst and hasn't been fixed."

"The situation is complicated because we will ask for a grant for new changing rooms from the Football Foundation this month. We won't get a decision until December so it's not likely the borough council will put in a new tank if we might get a whole new facility."

Greg Wilson, secretary of Real Roochers: "We pay rent to the league to play on the pitch and use the changing rooms and we have enough trouble getting that from players without not having proper facilities."

The tank – on the roof of the Jade Pavillion restaurant – burst at the beginning of September.

Since then neither the Northampton Borough Council-owned changing rooms or the restaurant has enjoyed proper facilities.

A member of staff at Jade Pavilion, who did not want to be named, said a shortage of water at the restaurant had caused problems.

He said: "We have had no hot water since the tank burst. It is inconvenient when we need to wash dishes but we can boil water in a pan.

"The real trouble is when staff have to get a shower. When the restaurant is busy the toilets are a problem as we only just have enough to make them work."

A spokesman for Northampton Borough Council said: "A problem with the showers at the Racecourse was first detected when the new football season started.

"Due to the age and design of the building, repairing the problem with the plumbing has been more difficult than anticipated.

"We are currently reviewing the cost implications of replacing the boiler as opposed to repairing it.

"The football league and teams that use the Racecourse were notified of a problem as soon as it was discovered.

"Arrangements are being made to install suitable portable showers now that we know the problem is more serious than initially expected."