A FOOTBALL club which wants to hire out its clubhouse has had tight restrictions slapped on its licence as neighbours fear it could turn into a noisy pub or wedding venue.

Horwich St Mary's FC has been granted a licence to sell alcohol from its premises but only on weekends.

Live music and recorded music will be allowed inside the venue – but not outdoors – and no boxing or wrestling entertainment is permitted as applied for.

The amateur club had originally asked for a licence to serve alcohol every day from 10am to 11pm.

Representatives from the club told the council that the premises would not be used as a recreational bar and that it did not intend to use the function room as pub.

But residents who attended a town hall meeting last week doubted their intentions.

Stephen Wallen, who lives on Scholes Bank, said his property is located only 50 metres away from the clubhouse.

He said: “You say you need it to raise funds. My concern with this application is it may be a very lucrative way of raising funds. You might find that the club is much better run as a fundraiser rather than a football club."

The Horwich resident also complained about an "unacceptable" incident which took place in July when loud music could be heard from an outdoor "keep fit" class, which usually takes place at the clubhouse.

Michael Foster, whose grandson is a member of the club, said he has supported it for many years but fears the term "fundraising" is open to interpretation

He said: “I fear that the club’s intentions will continue to push the boundaries."

But welfare officer Scott Boals said the club is not looking to become a fundraising business.

He said: “We are not looking to become a fundraising business. We are just looking to raise money to ensure that the running costs of the team is met. We are not looking to have the bar open seven days a week."

Assistant secretary Tracey Dempsey told the licensing sub-committee that the club wants to raise the funds so that it can avoid hiking up the prices for junior players.

Parents pay £20 a month but this is subsidised for those with multiple children. There is also a hardship fund available.

She said: "What we are trying to do is not put subs up. We believe that people want to hire out the room if they have the ability to have a bar."