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The League Two New and Redeveloped Stadia Ranting and Praising Fred

shoddycollins

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Just thought I'd create a general thread for fans of all League Two clubs to explain situations at their club regarding stadium new-builds, redevelopments, new stands etc. There's a lot of that sort of thing going on at this level, whether just pipe dreams, or actual work underway (or work underway and then halted) and I'm sure we've a lot to rant about, or indeed in some cases, praise. So this thread is a repository for anything you want to get off your chest, or for filling fans of other clubs in on the details of something they may have just heard of in passing and not know much about.
 

shoddycollins

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CARLISLE UNITED - PROJECT BLUE YONDER
Blue Yonder has been dragging on for some time now and is becoming a bit of a farce, mainly because it is Nixon's pet project and it's a bit of a joke how often he mentions it, only to then say that he can't give any further details because of a confidentiality agreement. As if we're supposed to congratulate him on progress he can't tell us about, on a project he can't give us any details over, with third parties he can't name.

It all began almost 10 years ago I think, shortly after promotion to League One. At first things seemed normal enough, the club expressed a desire to move to a new stadium with more modern facilities, all seater, lots of parking, made of Meccano, next to a motorway junction, that sort of thing. Not everyone's cup of tea, especially as it would have a lower capacity than Brunton Park, not be a short walk from the city centre, and lack the atmosphere and famous terracing of our traditional ground, but not surprising that a progressive club playing at an aging stadium in the middle-tier of League football should start mooting the idea of a ground-move.

Initially the plan was for a stadium funded by an adjoining retail development but this was quashed by the city council who wouldn't allow such a large retail development to suck trade out of the city centre. Since then, it has descended into mystery and uncertainty, with Nixon hanging onto his dream. The club signed an agreement with a developer to build the new stadium but couldn't name the developer due to a confidentiality clause in the agreement, there was also a lockout agreement.

None of this was ever really explained adequately to the fans and we were left in the dark as to even what a lockout agreement meant, it just rumbled on and on with no news just Nixon's assurances that things were progressing. Until this month, when the original agreement came to an end and the developer asked for an extension. Sue Kidd, who is managing director now of the operational company at last managed to put things into terms the fans could understand. Basically, as I understand it, the nature of the agreement is that the developer is doing all the legwork in finding a site and paying for all the expensive studies that go along with that. The lockout part of the agreement is that the club won't take all that hard work and then award a contract to another developer. For some reason the developer also wishes to remain anonymous.

Although it may seem reasonable that a developer would like such a lockout agreement in return for doing all the hard work, the developer takes some risk hoping to get a lucrative contract while the club don't have to spend any money, it seem so suit all parties. However the fact this has gone on so long and the developer are still desperate to keep working on the proposal despite seemingly having failed to get any closer to identifying a site in the last decade makes me suspicious. Lucrative though a stadium-building contract might be, is it really worth a decade of effort with no reward? What do they have to gain that makes it worthwhile for them? Sounds like we'll be lumbered with a stadium we don't own and a developer who feel we owe them big-time. The confidentiality just makes it even worse, given the amount of vultures that are forever circling football clubs, looking to exploit their market position for a quick buck and the number of shady characters that seem to be sniffing around us at the moment, this is the last thing we want to hear. Add to that the fact we fobbed off a potential investor who just so happened to express doubts over whether a new stadium was necessary.
 

BeesKnees

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Barnet FC - The Hive
History

Originally planned as home for Wealdstone FC but the developers went bust and funds run out so it was given back to the Council and put up for tender. Barnet FC won the tender for it to be a training ground and home to Wealdstone FC and Edgware Town FC. Agreement between Barnet FC and Wealdstone FC never materialised and Edgware Town went out of business so the stadium was never finished leaving two end terraces but no pitch. Barnet Council then refused to allow access to the south end of Underhill and gave Copthall Stadium to Saracens rugby for peanuts, our owner had had enough so he moved us to a half built Hive that had a hastily erected stand and floodlights which only received planning permission nearly 18 months later.

Now
We have one decent stand and two small terraces plus a warehouse with seats bolted on the side. The ticket office is a portacabin in the car park. The other side of this is financially the Gym, pitches and banqueting facilities are helping to support the club. Work on a £6m medical centre, ticket office and larger Banqueting suite has begun. Approval has been given to replace the away terrace with a seated stand which the chairman has said will commence at the end of the season. Wealdstone FC still have the right to play at the Hive for a market rate but the truth is without access to non-ticket revenue it will never be a viable option for them to groundshare.
Future
Chairman has confirmed intention to replace home terrace, overhaul the east stand, build a sports hall and have accommodation for players on site. By the time he has finished his pet project it will be the 10,000 capacity stadium he promised the fans when he became chairman 20 years ago, sadly it wont be in Barnet and he has confirmed he is no longer looking to return from the Hive and so the move is permanent.
 

mase

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Oxford United - who even needs a fourth stand anyway? It takes away the view of the car park.
 

MrGloverLover

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Our development plans are a saga worthy of a Netflix box set. Well they've been going on for years anyway.

Every year we put in a new application to sell off land around the ground to bring in money to improve our facilities. Every year it gets roundly laughed at by the local councils (district, town and parish) who are all too small-minded and stuck in their provincial NIMBY ways to even consider that it might bring some prosperity to the area. We await the inevitable on the latest application.

One of the biggest problems is covenants on the land restricting the sale of alcohol. Also the Abbey Manor estate across the road has grown massively since the ground was built in 1990 and the traffic is appalling on matchdays. It frightens the councils to think what it would be like if we attracted more fans - the horror!
 

Flaxman's Alibi

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Our missing in action fourth stand, also known as the Bishop Street Stand, probably makes more money in advertising than the entirety of the Superbowl tv advertising campaign.

Unfortunately, this is probably still going towards paying the electricity bill for the 3 bar fire that was left turned on behind a locked door for 2 & 1/2 years in the old wooden tinderbox accident waiting to happen firetrap of a garden shed type arrangement.
 

Aber gas

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We are currently enjoying life in our new state of the art uwe stadium. Oh wait no .. We are still trying to get a few quid off sainsbury. :ffs:
 

Glasshalffullpools

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By now , you away fans should be sat in an all seater 3000 stand having spent the night in the integral hotel , the fact that your not surely means you never will
 

WAP

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A tesco has been built behind the Fratton End which has given us abit of money to expand the stadium. So within a few years I expect us to start work on getting the capacity up to 30,000.
 

Bar Carousel

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A tesco has been built behind the Fratton End which has given us abit of money to expand the stadium. So within a few years I expect us to start work on getting the capacity up to 30,000.

Can't see it myself, but live in hope.

The club say they are currently undertaking a case study to see if there are suitable areas in which to build elsewhere, as well as the possibility of redeveloping FP. There should at some point be some sort consultation put to the fans to see if the appetite exists to move or stay at Fratton.

I believe the club received about £3m as part of the Tesco deal. A fair amount, but would probably only get you a rebuilt Milton End at best. A chunk of that figure has already been spent on maintenance, new pitch and floodlights.

Any redevelopment will need serious cash. Well out of reach of most HNW's and the trust. There are two HNW's however who have recently sold one of their businesses for approx £180m. In theory, they could fund redevelopment in part. However, in doing so, their stake in the club would increase, and the trusts current 48% ownership would be seriously depleted.

It's an issue that puts our current supporter owned model at the crossroads. Investment, unless funded under a fans bond scheme led by the trust, will seriously deplete fan ownership.
 

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One of the flags on our half built stand got blown off by the wind today.

Lucky devil.
 

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I could go on all night too. We've got a council who aren't interested because we're not Cambridge University and the university don't want us in the city as we're not playing rugby, cricket or rowing.

We've had rumours of a new ground/redeveloped Abbey for 25 years and all we've got so far is an away end 30 yards from the pitch.

To add to that, Grosvenor Developments own the Abbey these days (the story of that saga is long enough) and as we don't have a sugar daddy chairman we don't even have any control over the ground.

Bloody hopeless situation.
 

Deepcut Cobbler

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CARLISLE UNITED - PROJECT BLUE YONDER
Blue Yonder has been dragging on for some time now and is becoming a bit of a farce, mainly because it is Nixon's pet project and it's a bit of a joke how often he mentions it, only to then say that he can't give any further details because of a confidentiality agreement. As if we're supposed to congratulate him on progress he can't tell us about, on a project he can't give us any details over, with third parties he can't name.


It all began almost 10 years ago I think, shortly after promotion to League One. At first things seemed normal enough, the club expressed a desire to move to a new stadium with more modern facilities, all seater, lots of parking, made of Meccano, next to a motorway junction, that sort of thing. Not everyone's cup of tea, especially as it would have a lower capacity than Brunton Park, not be a short walk from the city centre, and lack the atmosphere and famous terracing of our traditional ground, but not surprising that a progressive club playing at an aging stadium in the middle-tier of League football should start mooting the idea of a ground-move.


Initially the plan was for a stadium funded by an adjoining retail development but this was quashed by the city council who wouldn't allow such a large retail development to suck trade out of the city centre. Since then, it has descended into mystery and uncertainty, with Nixon hanging onto his dream. The club signed an agreement with a developer to build the new stadium but couldn't name the developer due to a confidentiality clause in the agreement, there was also a lockout agreement.

None of this was ever really explained adequately to the fans and we were left in the dark as to even what a lockout agreement meant, it just rumbled on and on with no news just Nixon's assurances that things were progressing. Until this month, when the original agreement came to an end and the developer asked for an extension. Sue Kidd, who is managing director now of the operational company at last managed to put things into terms the fans could understand. Basically, as I understand it, the nature of the agreement is that the developer is doing all the legwork in finding a site and paying for all the expensive studies that go along with that. The lockout part of the agreement is that the club won't take all that hard work and then award a contract to another developer. For some reason the developer also wishes to remain anonymous.

Although it may seem reasonable that a developer would like such a lockout agreement in return for doing all the hard work, the developer takes some risk hoping to get a lucrative contract while the club don't have to spend any money, it seem so suit all parties. However the fact this has gone on so long and the developer are still desperate to keep working on the proposal despite seemingly having failed to get any closer to identifying a site in the last decade makes me suspicious. Lucrative though a stadium-building contract might be, is it really worth a decade of effort with no reward? What do they have to gain that makes it worthwhile for them? Sounds like we'll be lumbered with a stadium we don't own and a developer who feel we owe them big-time. The confidentiality just makes it even worse, given the amount of vultures that are forever circling football clubs, looking to exploit their market position for a quick buck and the number of shady characters that seem to be sniffing around us at the moment, this is the last thing we want to hear. Add to that the fact we fobbed off a potential investor who just so happened to express doubts over whether a new stadium was necessary.

Having read that it's unbelievable how many of your 'problems' are so similar to what we have been through, just gone through or have to come... When it comes down to it, the majority of us who don't have the funds to do anything ourselves outright, have to lay ourselves at the feet of others and beg, steal and/or borrow to get anything done.
In this division, none of us have problems that are unique, it is only the currency and level of the problems that change.
All of us have either been through, are going through or have it to come. In that, I think it is fair to say, that we are all united.
 

Flaxman's Alibi

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To be fair to our owner, Field Mill was redeveloped 16 years ago now, an alleged £6million (sic) was spent on a cheap as possible stadium that has been dropping to bits from the moment it was completed. It has seen no end of issues and current owner John Radford has constantly had to throw money at the thing to keep it in suitable shape.

It cannot be underestimated just how many corners were cut on the project, and how quality of materials was compromised, to the extent that constantly chucking money at the thing becomes an ongoing predicament. Radford's dollars have been so sown up in putting everything in place, that should already have been 16 years ago, that the club is no closer to completing the ground with a fourth stand than it was at the turn of the Millennium.
 

Football Purist

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Barnet FC - The Hive
History

Originally planned as home for Wealdstone FC but the developers went bust and funds run out so it was given back to the Council and put up for tender. Barnet FC won the tender for it to be a training ground and home to Wealdstone FC and Edgware Town FC. Agreement between Barnet FC and Wealdstone FC never materialised and Edgware Town went out of business so the stadium was never finished leaving two end terraces but no pitch. Barnet Council then refused to allow access to the south end of Underhill and gave Copthall Stadium to Saracens rugby for peanuts, our owner had had enough so he moved us to a half built Hive that had a hastily erected stand and floodlights which only received planning permission nearly 18 months later.

Now
We have one decent stand and two small terraces plus a warehouse with seats bolted on the side. The ticket office is a portacabin in the car park. The other side of this is financially the Gym, pitches and banqueting facilities are helping to support the club. Work on a £6m medical centre, ticket office and larger Banqueting suite has begun. Approval has been given to replace the away terrace with a seated stand which the chairman has said will commence at the end of the season. Wealdstone FC still have the right to play at the Hive for a market rate but the truth is without access to non-ticket revenue it will never be a viable option for them to groundshare.
Future
Chairman has confirmed intention to replace home terrace, overhaul the east stand, build a sports hall and have accommodation for players on site. By the time he has finished his pet project it will be the 10,000 capacity stadium he promised the fans when he became chairman 20 years ago, sadly it wont be in Barnet and he has confirmed he is no longer looking to return from the Hive and so the move is permanent.
Need to change your name then.
You're too far from Barnet to retain that name.
 

BeesKnees

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Wherever it is it's a long way from Barnet so it's either a name change for the club or you carry on trying to find a venue in Barnet.
The name of a club is up to the supporters and they have no interest in a name change To harrow bees because the council border is 400 yards away.

Maybe you could ask Arsenal, QPR and Bolton fans the same question
 

Football Purist

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The name of a club is up to the supporters and they have no interest in a name change To harrow bees because the council border is 400 yards away.

Maybe you could ask Arsenal, QPR and Bolton fans the same question
It's atleast 5 miles from Barnet to The Hive...much too far.
Arsenal ain't a place and they dropped Woolwich when they moved.
Queens Park is a small and not widely known area as opposed to Barnet which is a major area so R's can probably get away with it.
As for Bolton although the ground is well out of town it's still in 'the Bolton area' so despite the shit location they can again get away with it.
Sorry but for me Barnet FC should play in Barnet or atleast on the outskirts.
Five miles ain't the outskirts.
 

BeesKnees

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Come back when you've persuaded Brighton and Grimsby fans to chang their name.

It's a good job clubs names aren't decided by one saddo on a forum. What gives you the right say what a club calls itself?

Most fans see Barnet FC as representing the Barnet administrative area which is 400 yards away. Very little difference to Bolton
 
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Football Purist

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Come back when you've persuaded Brighton and Grimsby fans to chang their name.

It's a good job clubs names aren't decided by one saddo on a forum

Most fans see Barnet FC as representing the Barnet administrative area which is 400 yards away.
Grimsby play about 200 yards outside the Grimsby boundary and Brighton play just outside Brighton.
Sorry,but whichever team plays at that venue in NW London shouldn't be carrying the Barnet name.
P.s. 7-4!
 

BeesKnees

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Grimsby play about 200 yards outside the Grimsby boundary and Brighton play just outside Brighton.
Sorry,but whichever team plays at that venue in NW London shouldn't be carrying the Barnet name.
P.s. 7-4!
Grimsby play in cleethorpes and Brighton in Fawley. 7-4=3
 

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