THE executive committee of a sports club threatened by closure has spoken of its optimism after hoards of members and residents attended a meeting about buying the club last Tuesday.

More than 600 people crammed into the Pegasus Club, in Herd Lane, Corringham, in which proposals were floated to members about buying the club.

Members heard how they will be able to purchase up to 40 shares in the club at a cost of £20,000, with one share costing £500, with each stakeholder getting one vote, no matter how many shares they own.

The aim is to raise enough money to buy the club from administrators PWC, which is seeking a buyer for the club that used to be owned by Petroplus.

The Coryton oil refinery owner went bust a year ago, forcing the plant to close and eventually be sold to a consortium, which is transforming the site into an import terminal.

East Thurrock United Football Club have registered a serious interest in buying the Pegasus and developing its sports facilities, but their plans have met with stern opposition from the Pegasus committee and several local councillors.

Paul Cairns, a Pegasus club spokesman, said three weeks ago the committee had been left with no other option than to consider a members’ buyout scheme.

Speaking after last Tuesday’s meeting, he said: “We’re very hopeful. It was a fantastic turnout at the meeting and there’s been fantastic support.

“It’s not a straight forward process and it’s going to take a while to plan. “But all the paperwork will be done properly and privately. “Hopefully PwC will listen.”

The deadline to register an interest in buying a share in the club is February 11. Only current club members can purchase shares, but the committee is still open to anyone wanting to become a member.

Mr Cairns also revealed PwC has broken its silence with the committee and is in the process of arranging meetings. In December the committee, which is still sitting tenants, was served notice to leave the club by June.