An amateur football club chief says he is locked in ‘David v Goliath’ style battle with mobile phone giants over compensation for an axed telecoms mast.
In December 2005, T Mobile struck a 15-year deal to pay Ossett Albion FC £4,500 annually for a mobile phone mast the company erected at the club’s Queen’s Terrace ground off Dimplewells Road.
Ossett Albion chiefs say T Mobile opted out of the deal after five years using a ‘break period’ in the contract, which both parties had previously agreed to.
Club vice chairman Stuart Garside said T Mobile removed their equipment from the ground after decommissioning the mast in 2010.
Mr Garside said: “We said (to T Mobile) what sort of compensation are we going to get? They offered us £5,500 and later agreed to up it to £6,000.”
Mr Garside said he has been trying to since March 2010 to persuade T Mobile to hand over the cash to the club, which is in the Evo-stik Northern Premier League Division One North.
He added: “We are not a rich club by any stretch of the imagination. We have just had to spend £7,100 on a new boiler for the showers. That £6,000 would have gone a long way to pay the bill on that one.
“I think they (T Mobile) have treated us in a shocking way. It’s a David and Goliath situation.
“Unfortunately we let them take the equipment away and we shouldn’t have done. We should said. ‘When you have paid up you can have it.’”
Mr Garside said T Mobile had originally approached the club asking if they could erect a transmitter mast at the ground.
He added: “After negotiation we agreed they could put one up – subject to planning – which went through at the second attempt. Because we had eight floodlight columns the council wouldn’t allow another column. T Mobile re-applied to Wakefield Council to take down one of the floodlight columns and erect a telecoms mast and attach a floodlight to it.”
A spokeswoman for T Mobile said: “This is currently being investigated.”