THE future of a popular Wirral pub is uncertain after its landlord said he was being forced to close its doors.

The Farmer's Arms in Frankby posted an emotional message on their Facebook page saying they had failed to reach an agreement with Stonegate Group over the long term future of the pub.

The statement said: "It’s with a heavy heart we announce our departure from The Farmers Arms.

"We took the reigns in April 2019 with the intention to restore the pub to its former glories, and restore the reputation and of course its heritage and name.

"Tomorrow we hand the keys back to the brewery, after failing to find a long term arrangement to secure our long term tenure. For over 18 months we negotiated but ultimately a resolution couldn’t be found for the best for both parties in our respective models.

"We’d like to place on record our thanks to all our guests, who’ve helped make some special memories here for us, we propped the pub up during a pandemic and ensured all staff were cared for, and depart after just two and a half years, which was never our intention, we wanted to be here for the very long term but this couldn’t be found.

"We’d also love to thank the staff past and present who’ve helped us over the past few years, we’ve made some friends for life and we’re so proud of the job we did together.

"We walk away with our heads held high and proud of the job we did, what happens next is down to the brewery. We will offer them access to this page if they want it for whoever is the custodian of this great pub next, but we wish you all the best.

"We wish whoever takes over the pub all the best, and it’s important for us to say there’s no issue between ourselves and Stonegate group, we couldn’t find an agreement that worked for both of us, but we have a good working relationship elsewhere, and hope that continues."

Drinkers have been reacting to the news on Facebook with the majority expressing their sadness at the landlord's departure.

"Absolutely gutted to hear this," wrote Vicki Fleming. "Enjoyed and thought you were great. You’ll be missed."

Joanne Wood wrote: "You guys have done such a brilliant job there and it’ll be massively missed on the Wirral. Another good family pub gone! The brewery should be ashamed of themselves."

Brian Blanchard wrote: "Since your takeover I’ve visited quite a few times and have recognised a huge improvement. You’ve gone through the toughest of times!! "What more can you do? You know you did your best."