'Worst stadium in the world': Tensions high as campaigners debate future of Plough Lane Wimbledon Stadium

Sutton Guardian: Wimbledon greyhound stadium Wimbledon greyhound stadium

Emotions ran high at a public hearing as two sides today went head-to-head to fight for the Wimbledon greyhound venue.

Campaigners in favour of regenerating the site as a £60m greyhound racing stadium said they are fighting for survival of their beloved sport, whereas AFC Wimbledon supporters hope the inspector will rule in their favour.

POLL: Do you want Wimbledon stadium to remain a dog track or for it to be a football stadium for AFC Wimbledon?

Dozens of supporters of both bids packed into the Merton Council chamber this morning to hear the cases put forward to independent inspector Robert Yuille.

In an outburst at the hearing, businessman Paschal Taggart made his position clear.

Mr Taggart said: "I am a businessman and greyhounds are a hobby.

"I don't have the need to keep greyhound racing going but it is important to me.

"Galliard Homes as the owners of the site have purposely run it into the ground. It is the worst stadium in the world.

"This track is a disgrace."

Representatives from the developer did not respond to the claims that were acknowledged by the inspector, but instead it was clarified that the site was owned by both Galliard Homes and Risk Capital.

In a dramatic twist, several new documents were presented to the hearing, prompting a number of short adjournments while the letters were read and responded to by all parties.

One of the documents was an emailed statement from Sir Edward Lister, deputy Mayor for planning. The statement was a response to a request for comment by The Racing Post. It read: "The Mayor has always been of the opinion that Wimbledon Stadium should remain a greyhound racing venue.

"However, if this is not viable, he would accept the site being used for other stadia-based sport, as long as it is in line with strategic planning policy."

The hearing lasted for several hours, and centred around concerns raised over the impact on the area, flooding concerns and transport issues.

Exchanges between the two parties have at times been heated since plans to transform the historic facilities were announced last year, and this continued at the hearing.

A campaign group called We Want Wimbledon (WWW) was set up to support Irish business magnate Mr Taggart's plans for a £60m revamp to transform the stadium into the "Royal Ascot of dog racing."

Meanwhile, AFC Wimbledon fans were handed a manifesto of the club's ambitious plans to build a £16m stadium that they claim would allow the club to return to its spiritual home.

Lawrence Blunt of WWW said: "We are here fighting for the survival of the sport.

"Crayford and Romford are small stadiums and the loss of this stadium will have a serious impact on the sport of greyhound racing in England and Ireland and I can see it being the start of the death of our sport."

A decision is expected to be made public in April.

 

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Comments (12)

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5:46pm Wed 22 Jan 14

rob_c says...

"Exchanges between the two parties have at times been heated since plans to transform the historic facilities were announced last year, and this continued at the hearing."

I think that's a bit sensationalist, Becky. Yes, Paschal Taggart and some of his supporters got agitated a few times, but it was hardly a two-way thing. And in terms of things previously, prior to the meeting, the football club has studiously refused to get drawn into commenting on other people's plans, concentrating instead on their own.
"Exchanges between the two parties have at times been heated since plans to transform the historic facilities were announced last year, and this continued at the hearing." I think that's a bit sensationalist, Becky. Yes, Paschal Taggart and some of his supporters got agitated a few times, but it was hardly a two-way thing. And in terms of things previously, prior to the meeting, the football club has studiously refused to get drawn into commenting on other people's plans, concentrating instead on their own. rob_c

11:05pm Wed 22 Jan 14

peacheydadon says...

"Crayford and Romford are small stadiums and the loss of this stadium will have a serious impact on the sport of greyhound racing in England and Ireland and I can see it being the start of the death of our sport." --- funny, I thought the start of the decline was years ago and pretty soon the sport which some claim is cruel and some claim is not much of a sport actually anway is heading where it should, to an end.
"Crayford and Romford are small stadiums and the loss of this stadium will have a serious impact on the sport of greyhound racing in England and Ireland and I can see it being the start of the death of our sport." --- funny, I thought the start of the decline was years ago and pretty soon the sport which some claim is cruel and some claim is not much of a sport actually anway is heading where it should, to an end. peacheydadon

1:03am Thu 23 Jan 14

QPR4Me says...

I have no problem with "a serious impact on the sport of greyhound racing in England and Ireland and I can see it being the start of the death of our sport". Just ask the breeders and trainers of racing greyhounds just what happens to the dogs that are not good enough to race and those that have reached the end of their racing lives. Not many get re-homed!!
In this modern age, when most bookmakers feature "computer" greyhound racing, is there really a need for this anachronistic sport that harks back to the vile days of hare-coursing, where hares were ripped to shreds? A pastime that still takes place, albeit illegally these days.
I have no problem with "a serious impact on the sport of greyhound racing in England and Ireland and I can see it being the start of the death of our sport". Just ask the breeders and trainers of racing greyhounds just what happens to the dogs that are not good enough to race and those that have reached the end of their racing lives. Not many get re-homed!! In this modern age, when most bookmakers feature "computer" greyhound racing, is there really a need for this anachronistic sport that harks back to the vile days of hare-coursing, where hares were ripped to shreds? A pastime that still takes place, albeit illegally these days. QPR4Me

8:12pm Thu 23 Jan 14

Isobelteresa says...

Shame not a single comment about the greyhounds' themselves, or the life of utter misery they are forced to endure for the sake of a quick bet, kennelled for up to 23 hrs per day, forced to race on dangerous tracks, and euthanised for treatable injuries should they happen to fall, or start losing. Ony a minute fraction of those bred for the track make it into rescue or even adoption, thousands don't. This track should be closed asap, there is just no excuse in modern Britain for this so called 'sport', which is basically a bunch of men betting on the lives of real live animals. It's medieval, and only survives now in anglo saxon countries where gambling is rife. These poor dogs are often abandoned, killed by bolt gun,or have their ears hacked off so their trainer/owner cannot be identified, and often arrive at rescues in pitiful conditions. Visit any independent UK greyhound rescue and find out.
Shame not a single comment about the greyhounds' themselves, or the life of utter misery they are forced to endure for the sake of a quick bet, kennelled for up to 23 hrs per day, forced to race on dangerous tracks, and euthanised for treatable injuries should they happen to fall, or start losing. Ony a minute fraction of those bred for the track make it into rescue or even adoption, thousands don't. This track should be closed asap, there is just no excuse in modern Britain for this so called 'sport', which is basically a bunch of men betting on the lives of real live animals. It's medieval, and only survives now in anglo saxon countries where gambling is rife. These poor dogs are often abandoned, killed by bolt gun,or have their ears hacked off so their trainer/owner cannot be identified, and often arrive at rescues in pitiful conditions. Visit any independent UK greyhound rescue and find out. Isobelteresa

3:30pm Fri 24 Jan 14

Ilusions says...

What a surprise, yet again no mention from anyone on where Banger racing stands in all this because we will be the ultimate losers as nowhere along the line has anyone seriously considered us or offered us a viable option. We are not dog racing!
People have frankly conducted a smear/dirty tricks campaign against anyone not in favour of having football at the site and have put down anyone with opposing views on where existing users of the track will be left. I ask again where will stock car fans go? Shrugging shoulders and looking the other way isn't an answer. We are a small but settled sport and as a minority up against huge odds and money, this is disgraceful and wouldn't be tolerated in almost any other situation.
Wimbledon has been run into the ground over the past 8 or 9 years, you only have to visit it to see that. Ask yourself why and who stands to gain from it long term. Mr Taggart is right and I am not a dog racing fan.
What a surprise, yet again no mention from anyone on where Banger racing stands in all this because we will be the ultimate losers as nowhere along the line has anyone seriously considered us or offered us a viable option. We are not dog racing! People have frankly conducted a smear/dirty tricks campaign against anyone not in favour of having football at the site and have put down anyone with opposing views on where existing users of the track will be left. I ask again where will stock car fans go? Shrugging shoulders and looking the other way isn't an answer. We are a small but settled sport and as a minority up against huge odds and money, this is disgraceful and wouldn't be tolerated in almost any other situation. Wimbledon has been run into the ground over the past 8 or 9 years, you only have to visit it to see that. Ask yourself why and who stands to gain from it long term. Mr Taggart is right and I am not a dog racing fan. Ilusions

3:33pm Fri 24 Jan 14

Ilusions says...

Isobelteresa wrote:
Shame not a single comment about the greyhounds' themselves, or the life of utter misery they are forced to endure for the sake of a quick bet, kennelled for up to 23 hrs per day, forced to race on dangerous tracks, and euthanised for treatable injuries should they happen to fall, or start losing. Ony a minute fraction of those bred for the track make it into rescue or even adoption, thousands don't. This track should be closed asap, there is just no excuse in modern Britain for this so called 'sport', which is basically a bunch of men betting on the lives of real live animals. It's medieval, and only survives now in anglo saxon countries where gambling is rife. These poor dogs are often abandoned, killed by bolt gun,or have their ears hacked off so their trainer/owner cannot be identified, and often arrive at rescues in pitiful conditions. Visit any independent UK greyhound rescue and find out.
You have an opinion fine, but again you overlook banger racing in your scant disregard for us or our sport as closing Wimbledon puts us out of the game too.
[quote][p][bold]Isobelteresa[/bold] wrote: Shame not a single comment about the greyhounds' themselves, or the life of utter misery they are forced to endure for the sake of a quick bet, kennelled for up to 23 hrs per day, forced to race on dangerous tracks, and euthanised for treatable injuries should they happen to fall, or start losing. Ony a minute fraction of those bred for the track make it into rescue or even adoption, thousands don't. This track should be closed asap, there is just no excuse in modern Britain for this so called 'sport', which is basically a bunch of men betting on the lives of real live animals. It's medieval, and only survives now in anglo saxon countries where gambling is rife. These poor dogs are often abandoned, killed by bolt gun,or have their ears hacked off so their trainer/owner cannot be identified, and often arrive at rescues in pitiful conditions. Visit any independent UK greyhound rescue and find out.[/p][/quote]You have an opinion fine, but again you overlook banger racing in your scant disregard for us or our sport as closing Wimbledon puts us out of the game too. Ilusions

6:02pm Fri 24 Jan 14

Tax_Bob says...

Ilusions wrote:
What a surprise, yet again no mention from anyone on where Banger racing stands in all this because we will be the ultimate losers as nowhere along the line has anyone seriously considered us or offered us a viable option. We are not dog racing!
People have frankly conducted a smear/dirty tricks campaign against anyone not in favour of having football at the site and have put down anyone with opposing views on where existing users of the track will be left. I ask again where will stock car fans go? Shrugging shoulders and looking the other way isn't an answer. We are a small but settled sport and as a minority up against huge odds and money, this is disgraceful and wouldn't be tolerated in almost any other situation.
Wimbledon has been run into the ground over the past 8 or 9 years, you only have to visit it to see that. Ask yourself why and who stands to gain from it long term. Mr Taggart is right and I am not a dog racing fan.
Mr Taggart's plans as set out in the documents submitted to Merton Council (http://www.merton.g
ov.uk/environment/pl
anning/planningpolic
y/ldf/sites_policies
_plan/examination-si
tes_and_policies_and
_policies_map__.htm) do not include banger racing either.
Its all well and good saying that you oppose the football ground to save your sport but the fact is that the greyhound plan will also end stock cars' involvement at the end of Plough Lane.
[quote][p][bold]Ilusions[/bold] wrote: What a surprise, yet again no mention from anyone on where Banger racing stands in all this because we will be the ultimate losers as nowhere along the line has anyone seriously considered us or offered us a viable option. We are not dog racing! People have frankly conducted a smear/dirty tricks campaign against anyone not in favour of having football at the site and have put down anyone with opposing views on where existing users of the track will be left. I ask again where will stock car fans go? Shrugging shoulders and looking the other way isn't an answer. We are a small but settled sport and as a minority up against huge odds and money, this is disgraceful and wouldn't be tolerated in almost any other situation. Wimbledon has been run into the ground over the past 8 or 9 years, you only have to visit it to see that. Ask yourself why and who stands to gain from it long term. Mr Taggart is right and I am not a dog racing fan.[/p][/quote]Mr Taggart's plans as set out in the documents submitted to Merton Council (http://www.merton.g ov.uk/environment/pl anning/planningpolic y/ldf/sites_policies _plan/examination-si tes_and_policies_and _policies_map__.htm) do not include banger racing either. Its all well and good saying that you oppose the football ground to save your sport but the fact is that the greyhound plan will also end stock cars' involvement at the end of Plough Lane. Tax_Bob

12:12am Sat 25 Jan 14

Ilusions says...

Tax_Bob wrote:
Ilusions wrote:
What a surprise, yet again no mention from anyone on where Banger racing stands in all this because we will be the ultimate losers as nowhere along the line has anyone seriously considered us or offered us a viable option. We are not dog racing!
People have frankly conducted a smear/dirty tricks campaign against anyone not in favour of having football at the site and have put down anyone with opposing views on where existing users of the track will be left. I ask again where will stock car fans go? Shrugging shoulders and looking the other way isn't an answer. We are a small but settled sport and as a minority up against huge odds and money, this is disgraceful and wouldn't be tolerated in almost any other situation.
Wimbledon has been run into the ground over the past 8 or 9 years, you only have to visit it to see that. Ask yourself why and who stands to gain from it long term. Mr Taggart is right and I am not a dog racing fan.
Mr Taggart's plans as set out in the documents submitted to Merton Council (http://www.merton.g

ov.uk/environment/pl

anning/planningpolic

y/ldf/sites_policies

_plan/examination-si

tes_and_policies_and

_policies_map__.htm) do not include banger racing either.
Its all well and good saying that you oppose the football ground to save your sport but the fact is that the greyhound plan will also end stock cars' involvement at the end of Plough Lane.
That's what I am saying! Why has neither party made any concession for the existing sport and community based at the stadium, stock car fans?
We have been deliberately overlooked and sidelined in the debate. Mark my words, we have been and will be totally shafted as a sport when the obviously already made 'decision' is declared in April because nobody on either side gave a toss about us or our sport, just to satisfy their own indulgences of bringing football 'home'. Shameful.
[quote][p][bold]Tax_Bob[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Ilusions[/bold] wrote: What a surprise, yet again no mention from anyone on where Banger racing stands in all this because we will be the ultimate losers as nowhere along the line has anyone seriously considered us or offered us a viable option. We are not dog racing! People have frankly conducted a smear/dirty tricks campaign against anyone not in favour of having football at the site and have put down anyone with opposing views on where existing users of the track will be left. I ask again where will stock car fans go? Shrugging shoulders and looking the other way isn't an answer. We are a small but settled sport and as a minority up against huge odds and money, this is disgraceful and wouldn't be tolerated in almost any other situation. Wimbledon has been run into the ground over the past 8 or 9 years, you only have to visit it to see that. Ask yourself why and who stands to gain from it long term. Mr Taggart is right and I am not a dog racing fan.[/p][/quote]Mr Taggart's plans as set out in the documents submitted to Merton Council (http://www.merton.g ov.uk/environment/pl anning/planningpolic y/ldf/sites_policies _plan/examination-si tes_and_policies_and _policies_map__.htm) do not include banger racing either. Its all well and good saying that you oppose the football ground to save your sport but the fact is that the greyhound plan will also end stock cars' involvement at the end of Plough Lane.[/p][/quote]That's what I am saying! Why has neither party made any concession for the existing sport and community based at the stadium, stock car fans? We have been deliberately overlooked and sidelined in the debate. Mark my words, we have been and will be totally shafted as a sport when the obviously already made 'decision' is declared in April because nobody on either side gave a toss about us or our sport, just to satisfy their own indulgences of bringing football 'home'. Shameful. Ilusions

5:06am Sat 25 Jan 14

Barry Lendrum says...

Fact is...

AFC Wimbledon's needs are far greater as they are town-tied to Wimbledon, whereas dog racing and motor sports are not town tied. Your needs are less. You say your sports are dying sports. Well they're obviously dying out for a reason. Not enough support, especially dog racing.

If you have £60,000,000 spare then you can easily use it to build it elsewhere in a London suburb which needs regenerating. AFC Wimbledon are supposed to represent Wimbledon, not Kingston, not MK. It was a football travesty they lost their home and club in the first place. And this should never be allowed to happen again to shady businessmen with their own personal self-interest.

Mr Taggart said so himself that he has no need to keep greyhound racing going, as he's just a businessman. Sounds like another Pete Winkelman to me.

AFC Wimbledon are more for the community, and as they grow so will the stadium and attendance with lots of away fans from all around the country. The whole footballing nation wants them back home, apart from fans of that fake tinpot midland club we shan't mention.
Fact is... AFC Wimbledon's needs are far greater as they are town-tied to Wimbledon, whereas dog racing and motor sports are not town tied. Your needs are less. You say your sports are dying sports. Well they're obviously dying out for a reason. Not enough support, especially dog racing. If you have £60,000,000 spare then you can easily use it to build it elsewhere in a London suburb which needs regenerating. AFC Wimbledon are supposed to represent Wimbledon, not Kingston, not MK. It was a football travesty they lost their home and club in the first place. And this should never be allowed to happen again to shady businessmen with their own personal self-interest. Mr Taggart said so himself that he has no need to keep greyhound racing going, as he's just a businessman. Sounds like another Pete Winkelman to me. AFC Wimbledon are more for the community, and as they grow so will the stadium and attendance with lots of away fans from all around the country. The whole footballing nation wants them back home, apart from fans of that fake tinpot midland club we shan't mention. Barry Lendrum

1:54pm Sat 25 Jan 14

Ilusions says...

Barry Lendrum wrote:
Fact is...

AFC Wimbledon's needs are far greater as they are town-tied to Wimbledon, whereas dog racing and motor sports are not town tied. Your needs are less. You say your sports are dying sports. Well they're obviously dying out for a reason. Not enough support, especially dog racing.

If you have £60,000,000 spare then you can easily use it to build it elsewhere in a London suburb which needs regenerating. AFC Wimbledon are supposed to represent Wimbledon, not Kingston, not MK. It was a football travesty they lost their home and club in the first place. And this should never be allowed to happen again to shady businessmen with their own personal self-interest.

Mr Taggart said so himself that he has no need to keep greyhound racing going, as he's just a businessman. Sounds like another Pete Winkelman to me.

AFC Wimbledon are more for the community, and as they grow so will the stadium and attendance with lots of away fans from all around the country. The whole footballing nation wants them back home, apart from fans of that fake tinpot midland club we shan't mention.
You are wrong to say banger racing is dying out, quite the contrary actually but lets not let facts stand in the way. The few big meets held during the year at Wimbledon are packed to bursting. A meet last December was proof of this and will be again on the 9th of February.
AFC do not have greater needs, they just have the money (allegedly) to wave about and we all know that's what swings everything right or wrong. If we want to be really awkward then one might suggest this is not Wimbledon fc and actually they have no link to the area other than a borrowed name and a desire to have a Plough Lane postcode.
Banger racing is very much linked to the area due to the 50 plus years of history we have on the site which our opponents have no problem in ignoring and dismissing as unimportant yet there heritage in the apparently area is! We are also the last track left in London, how many football grounds in the London area are there and that's only the ones in use let alone the derelict ones of which there are many.
AFC looked at various other sites in and around the area which they all declined. The council sold the real Wimbledon down the river and now banger fans are being made to pay for their past mistakes because two wrongs make a right apparently. Sorry but the plans of this football club to displace an already settled community while offering them no provision for continued racing at the site smacks of double standards and certainly not ethical. They really should no better.
[quote][p][bold]Barry Lendrum[/bold] wrote: Fact is... AFC Wimbledon's needs are far greater as they are town-tied to Wimbledon, whereas dog racing and motor sports are not town tied. Your needs are less. You say your sports are dying sports. Well they're obviously dying out for a reason. Not enough support, especially dog racing. If you have £60,000,000 spare then you can easily use it to build it elsewhere in a London suburb which needs regenerating. AFC Wimbledon are supposed to represent Wimbledon, not Kingston, not MK. It was a football travesty they lost their home and club in the first place. And this should never be allowed to happen again to shady businessmen with their own personal self-interest. Mr Taggart said so himself that he has no need to keep greyhound racing going, as he's just a businessman. Sounds like another Pete Winkelman to me. AFC Wimbledon are more for the community, and as they grow so will the stadium and attendance with lots of away fans from all around the country. The whole footballing nation wants them back home, apart from fans of that fake tinpot midland club we shan't mention.[/p][/quote]You are wrong to say banger racing is dying out, quite the contrary actually but lets not let facts stand in the way. The few big meets held during the year at Wimbledon are packed to bursting. A meet last December was proof of this and will be again on the 9th of February. AFC do not have greater needs, they just have the money (allegedly) to wave about and we all know that's what swings everything right or wrong. If we want to be really awkward then one might suggest this is not Wimbledon fc and actually they have no link to the area other than a borrowed name and a desire to have a Plough Lane postcode. Banger racing is very much linked to the area due to the 50 plus years of history we have on the site which our opponents have no problem in ignoring and dismissing as unimportant yet there heritage in the apparently area is! We are also the last track left in London, how many football grounds in the London area are there and that's only the ones in use let alone the derelict ones of which there are many. AFC looked at various other sites in and around the area which they all declined. The council sold the real Wimbledon down the river and now banger fans are being made to pay for their past mistakes because two wrongs make a right apparently. Sorry but the plans of this football club to displace an already settled community while offering them no provision for continued racing at the site smacks of double standards and certainly not ethical. They really should no better. Ilusions

10:50am Thu 30 Jan 14

bishbosh says...

Where can the public find a copy of the AFC proposed business plan and viabilty projection ?. How can a club whose manager recently quoted "basically we have run out of money" as a reason for bringing in new players seriously borrow 20 million to build a stadium on land they do not own. It pie in the sky to suggest they will fill an 11000 stadium. AFC are where they are because they were broke before and split. I suspect their fan base is around 5000. If every fan subscribed an average of £1k.. thats 5 million...bit short. Message to AFC fans be wary of what you wish for. Or maybe Galliard might lend them the money. What will the banks secure on for the rest?
Where can the public find a copy of the AFC proposed business plan and viabilty projection ?. How can a club whose manager recently quoted "basically we have run out of money" as a reason for bringing in new players seriously borrow 20 million to build a stadium on land they do not own. It pie in the sky to suggest they will fill an 11000 stadium. AFC are where they are because they were broke before and split. I suspect their fan base is around 5000. If every fan subscribed an average of £1k.. thats 5 million...bit short. Message to AFC fans be wary of what you wish for. Or maybe Galliard might lend them the money. What will the banks secure on for the rest? bishbosh

11:10am Thu 30 Jan 14

rob_c says...

bishbosh wrote:
Where can the public find a copy of the AFC proposed business plan and viabilty projection ?. How can a club whose manager recently quoted "basically we have run out of money" as a reason for bringing in new players seriously borrow 20 million to build a stadium on land they do not own. It pie in the sky to suggest they will fill an 11000 stadium. AFC are where they are because they were broke before and split. I suspect their fan base is around 5000. If every fan subscribed an average of £1k.. thats 5 million...bit short. Message to AFC fans be wary of what you wish for. Or maybe Galliard might lend them the money. What will the banks secure on for the rest?
We are working in partnership with Galliard, who do own the site. The majority of the cost of building the stadium will be funded by Galliard out of their profits from the housing that will be built on the rest of the site. Total build cost for the first stage (11,000 capacity) is £16m. The portion of the development costs that fall on AFC Wimbledon will be paid for through selling naming rights to the stadium and a Community Share issue.

The club has a section about the proposed development on its website: http://www.afcwimble
don.co.uk/club/new-s
tadium/ which includes a broad manifesto for the development. More information will be released as we progress towards submitting a planning application, which will hopefully happen once the inspector has 'okayed' the sporting intensification designation for the site.

In the meantime, you can see some other initial plans and documents on the Merton Council website, as part of the submissions to the inspector: see http://www.merton.go
v.uk/environment/pla
nning/planningpolicy
/ldf/sites_policies_
plan/examination-sit
es_and_policies_and_
policies_map__.htm and scroll about halfway down - they are related to 'Site 37' and labelled 'GRA Ltd and AFC Wimbledon statement'.

The club's playing budget is separate from its overall budget, and the club has always budgeted in a prudent manner when it comes to both, so 'not having money' for the playing budget does not reflect the club's overall financial situation. If you want to inspect the club's accounts, they are published and available freely online at: http://www.afcwimble
don.co.uk/documents/
afcw-plc-statutory-a
ccounts184-1169296.p
df

Current attendances at Kingsmeadow are affected by the stadium there, which has restricted views and a capacity of around 4500. Previous work to estimate the club's overall fanbase has shown it to be around 15,000 in total, although obviously not all of those people are in a position to attend matches on a regular basis (due to issues such as geographic dispersal).

I hope this answers at least some of your questions.
[quote][p][bold]bishbosh[/bold] wrote: Where can the public find a copy of the AFC proposed business plan and viabilty projection ?. How can a club whose manager recently quoted "basically we have run out of money" as a reason for bringing in new players seriously borrow 20 million to build a stadium on land they do not own. It pie in the sky to suggest they will fill an 11000 stadium. AFC are where they are because they were broke before and split. I suspect their fan base is around 5000. If every fan subscribed an average of £1k.. thats 5 million...bit short. Message to AFC fans be wary of what you wish for. Or maybe Galliard might lend them the money. What will the banks secure on for the rest?[/p][/quote]We are working in partnership with Galliard, who do own the site. The majority of the cost of building the stadium will be funded by Galliard out of their profits from the housing that will be built on the rest of the site. Total build cost for the first stage (11,000 capacity) is £16m. The portion of the development costs that fall on AFC Wimbledon will be paid for through selling naming rights to the stadium and a Community Share issue. The club has a section about the proposed development on its website: http://www.afcwimble don.co.uk/club/new-s tadium/ which includes a broad manifesto for the development. More information will be released as we progress towards submitting a planning application, which will hopefully happen once the inspector has 'okayed' the sporting intensification designation for the site. In the meantime, you can see some other initial plans and documents on the Merton Council website, as part of the submissions to the inspector: see http://www.merton.go v.uk/environment/pla nning/planningpolicy /ldf/sites_policies_ plan/examination-sit es_and_policies_and_ policies_map__.htm and scroll about halfway down - they are related to 'Site 37' and labelled 'GRA Ltd and AFC Wimbledon statement'. The club's playing budget is separate from its overall budget, and the club has always budgeted in a prudent manner when it comes to both, so 'not having money' for the playing budget does not reflect the club's overall financial situation. If you want to inspect the club's accounts, they are published and available freely online at: http://www.afcwimble don.co.uk/documents/ afcw-plc-statutory-a ccounts184-1169296.p df Current attendances at Kingsmeadow are affected by the stadium there, which has restricted views and a capacity of around 4500. Previous work to estimate the club's overall fanbase has shown it to be around 15,000 in total, although obviously not all of those people are in a position to attend matches on a regular basis (due to issues such as geographic dispersal). I hope this answers at least some of your questions. rob_c

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