Mells and Vobster footballers fall out with pub over food
A VILLAGE football team is looking for a new pub after falling out with the new owners of the refurbished hostelry it had frequented for years.
Members of the Mells and Vobster football team have said they no longer feel welcome at theTalbot Inn, in Mells since it was re-opened under new ownership.
The pub closed for refurbishment in November 2012 and re-opened in early 2013.
It is now an exclusive hotel, restaurant and bar and has had rave reviews from national newspapers.
While the refurbishment took place the 35 footballers used the Royal Oak, in Oakfield Road, Frome.
But when vice-chairman Jamie Smart approached the new management about returning to their village pub and whether it was possible to get a few free snacks after the game, he said he was shocked at the manager's response.
Mr Smart, who also manages the first team, said: "Our club was formed in 1909.
"We have been playing Saturday afternoon games throughout the season since then.
"For many years we had been going to The Talbot after our games with opponents and spectators as well as our team for social drinks, food and a chat about all things football.
"Then The Talbot was closed for refurbishment as it had been taken on by new owners.
"We were very much looking forward to the re-opening, this is the only pub in Mells and it has been a tradition for us to go back after games."
So Mr Smart described it as a shock when the manager told him The Talbot would not be providing free food.
He added: "Every other club I know in the league is offered free food after a game by their local, it is normal practice.
"How much does a few bowls of chips cost?
"They would make up their money by having 30 to 40 members of the team and spectators drinking a pint or two.
"I think it's such a shame that this old, traditional and cosy little pub in a remote village has been turned into somewhere the locals are not deemed welcome.
"We're even looking into opening up the club's pavillion after the game for a drink and if it happens this will be somewhere for all locals, not just football teams."
The manager of the establishment, Matt Greenlees, said: "As a village pub, we will always go out of our way to support locals.
"I and all my staff are locals and 90 per cent of our customers are locals.
"The Mells and Vobster football team are obviously welcome at The Talbot any time but surely we cannot be held to ransom over an explicit demand for free food to entice the team down after the game.
"However, just so there is no misunderstanding and just this once I would like to buy all the team a pint after their game."
Any pub that would like to accommodate the team after a game is asked to email Mr Smart on mellsandvobsterfc@gmail. com