Industry News

Swindon Town fans weigh up bid for County Ground

Swindon Town’s supporters’ trust has expressed an interest in purchasing the County Ground, the English League One football club’s home stadium.

The trust detailed its intention of buying the 15,000-capacity stadium, which has served as the club’s home since 1896, at its annual meeting yesterday (Thursday) evening.

Local newspaper the Swindon Advertiser reports that a figure of £1.1m (€1.26m/$1.36m) has been discussed by Trust members and Swindon Borough Council, which owns the stadium.

The trust’s director, James Phipps, said, according to the BBC: “We feel the ground needs improving … and has a reluctant owner in some ways in the council, which is cash-strapped through austerity measures.

“We’d like to take it away from them to try to see if we can work on investment plans to make it a fit-for-purpose stadium for the next 50 to 100 years and create a financial stability around the club.”

However, the trust does not appear to have the backing of the club, which also has no intention of leaving the County Ground.

In a statement issued to the Advertiser, the club said: “The rolling lease is still in action, but discussions are ongoing in regards to a long-term lease that both parties can agree on.

“The club are continuing each summer to address the dilapidation of the County Ground at our own cost. Finally, the club would like to stress that we are not exploring the possibility of moving away from the County Ground.”

Swindon has endured a difficult 2016-17 season and currently sits 22nd in the League One table, seven points from safety with eight games remaining.