THE chairman of Dumbarton Football Club has responded to comments made by councillors over the club’s contribution to a new walkway along the town’s waterfront.

West Dunbartonshire’s infrastructure, regeneration and economic development committee heard that the project to complete the walkway was not going as smoothly as planned and that there were particular challenges with some of the partners involved.

The football club, Turnberry Homes Ltd, Lidl and Cullross Homes Ltd are all to contribute towards the £1.2 million cost with about £367,000 coming from taxpayers.

Jim McAloon, the authority’s head of economic regeneration and development, told the meeting the council had given each of the four parties, “the opportunity to build their own part of the walkway to our specifications.”

“Nobody has said they will not do this,” he continued. “I’m not complaining about the football club. They are dealing in a very difficult climate.

But councillors voiced frustration over the club’s ability to contribute, with Councillor Lawrence O’Neill saying he did not anticipate any “time soon that Dumbarton FC will be in a position to come up with £160,000 or £160 given their current plight or change in management”.

While Councillor David McBride added that “he was quite frustrated the football club are not coming to an agreement.”

In response to the councillors’ comments, however, the club’s chairman John Steele, said “What is being proposed regarding the walkway is unfortunately still unclear to us, and we look forward to receiving further clarification.

“Following the recent rejection of a proposed relocation of our stadium within the locality, the club obviously faces significant financial restrictions.

“However, we are always willing to talk about future possibilities with the council and other parties concerned.

“Our desire is to be as cooperative as possible and to continue to contribute beneficially to the life of the community of which we are proud to be a historic part.

“Dumbarton FC is pleased to be supporting the West Dunbartonshire Council VC Befriending scheme, to work with WDC Sports Development and Active Schools teams and to engage with national projects like the Family Fund.

“Our aim is to be a welcoming, community-oriented club, and our door is open to those who wish to discuss matters like the walkway.”