FOOTBALL bosses are devastated the club’s council-owned car park is being sold off for housing fearing it could be the “final nail in the coffin”.

The car park next to Harwich and Parkeston FC has been put up for sale by owner Tendring Council along with unused land, which used to be an isolation hospital in the First World War.

The site has been billed as being great for “residential development” by estate agent Boydens, which moots a possibility of 36 to 48 dwellings on the land or a higher density scheme of flats.

But club chairman Tony Armstrong said the loss of the car park could be disastrous.

“The council seems to be under some misapprehension the car park isn’t used,” he added.

“We have youth football, senior football, bootcamp, boot sales and charity events that use it. They need to do a survey of how many people use it before selling it.”

Harwich and Parkeston FC play at level seven in the non-league football pyramid. But to move up to the next level the ground has to meet certain criteria, including car parking facilities.

Tony added: “This could possibly be the final nail in the coffin for the club.

“There is nowhere else to park.

“Our aspirations of higher level football will be impossible.

“At one point we were working with Tendring Council about selling the club and car park and building a new facility but the valuation wasn’t up to expectation.”

It is not known how much the site, which was home to the isolation hospital until the 1930s when it closed, is being sold for.

A Tendring Council spokesman said: “The council aims to dispose of the site which is around 60per cent unused following the demolition of industrial buildings some years ago.

“The car park on the rest of the site is in a relatively poor condition and is not heavily used.

“The site is in a sustainable location and as brownfield land represents a significant opportunity, subject to planning, for the provision of much needed housing or for new business premises or other facilities to be developed.

“The council has been in discussions with the adjoining Harwich and Parkeston Football Club in recent years with regard to its potential relocation.

“The council remains willing to look at options with the club’s leaders.”