Stalybridge Celtic's proposed new redevelopment of their East Stand has run into a problem before a single brick has been bought.
"We got the planning permission people down to look at our plans and the proposed site," said club chairman, Rob Gorski. "They were all smiles and happy faced as we showed the blue prints and explained how we would be preserving the existing natural woodland behind the stand. That changed when they got to the toilet block."
The toilet block in question pre-dates the ground. It is a single story brick built construction, with no electric lights or plumbing, known to the fans that frequent the ground as the Dark Hole of Calcutta. Situated in one corner next to the main turnstiles, it is unused by any bar the exceedingly desperate. Due to the lack of plumbing, there are no cubicles, and no washing facilities. Those that do use it, do so at risk of standing in stale piss and urinating on their shoes.
"There's a proper toilet not far away," said Gorski. "And we would have put in a new toilet block, with plumbing and lighting. Currently, due to the preferred nature of the existing toilets, and the fact you can only urinate in the Dark Hole of Calcutta, we refer to them as the Pee and Queue loos."
On seeing the monstrosity of the Dark Hole of Calcutta, the planning officials from Tameside Council immediately announced that the proposed redevelopment could not continue.
"Apparently," said Gorski, "the toilet is the last known of it's kind, since Colwyn Bay knocked theirs down. And it's now a Grade-2 listed building. Any redevelopment we do, will have to leave it standing. This means going back to the drawing board."
The council are adamant that despite being smellable from two miles away, that the toilet block has to remain.
"It's an important part of this countries football heritage," said David Vernon, of the planning department. "At one time, this was the only kind of toilet at a football ground. Now with sanitary laws, these basic brick structures have virtually vanished. Celtic should be pleased that they have part of our national heritage within their walls."
However, in a further twist, the sanitary department of Tameside Council have announced that if the block is to remain, it must be fitted out with lights, proper ventilation, washing facilities and a sign indicating it is for men only.
"Doesn't that render it an ordinary toilet?" asked Gorski.
The planning department have said that in that case, they would be able to knock it down, as it would no longer be listed.
"So we have to spend ten grand turning it into a proper toilet, in order to knock it down. No wonder this countries gone to pot."