KIDDERMINSTER Harriers chiefs have today (October 24) confirmed that an advert promoting right-wing party UKIP will remain at the ground.

Yesterday, the Shuttle reported how angry supporters and sponsors have vowed to boycott the club after the Wyre Forest UKIP poster was put up on a hoarding at the Town End of Aggborough.

But the club emphasised that it is completely impartial with regards to politics and any party was welcome to advertise at the ground.

They also pointed out that politicians from across the spectrum have supported and continue to support the club commercially.

In a statement posted on the Harriers’ website this morning, the club said: “We would like to make clear that Kidderminster Harriers Football Club are completely impartial where politics are concerned.

“Over the years we have not only received support from political parties, but we have also supported them with free or reduced costs for venue hire and auction or raffle prizes. We believe this is part of being involved in our community.

“Commercially we have links with the Member of Parliament for Wyre Forest, Mark Garnier. Mr Garnier takes up an advert in the match-day programme and often supports the club’s causes in his role as MP.

“In addition to this we have, in recent years, worked with the Wyre Forest District Council and had support from (Liberal councillor) Fran Oborski  in the form of match sponsorship, as well as support from former European candidate Nikki Sinclaire.

“All of these parties have, in exchange, used the club to promote themselves into the wider community.

“We regard the support from UKIP locally in exactly the same way; that they are promoting themselves to the wider community through the football club.

“Any other political party that wishes to have a ground board, programme advert or any other sponsorship or hospitality package is most welcome to discuss this with Commercial Manager Mark Searl via email through “A discussion between the board yesterday (October 23) came to the conclusion that the UKIP advertisement will remain in place for the reasons stated above and, therefore, we ask that our explanation is accepted and the matter is brought to an end.

“Kidderminster Harriers Football Club is impartial in politics and does not want to become involved in a local political debate around this issue.”

The advert sparked a storm of protest after it was put up last Friday (October 17) with long-time fan Karl Davies cancelling his player sponsorship of winger Ahmed Obeng and quit his role as press officer for Kidderminster Harriers Independent Supporters Trust.

Wyre Forest Labour councillor and Harriers’ season ticket holder Adrian Sewell said he would boycott matches until the advert was removed.

But Councillor Michael Wrench, leader of Wyre Forest UKIP, said the advert was a business transaction in which they were supporting their local football club.