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Finance

Walsall owners snap up stadium

Featured image credit: Elliott Brown/CC BY-SA 2.0/Edited for size

Featured image credit: Elliott Brown/CC BY-SA 2.0/Edited for size

The owners of English Football League Two club Walsall have completed a deal to acquire its Poundland Bescot Stadium.

The agreement brings an end to 30 years of the club renting the stadium, which holds 11,300 spectators.

The acquisition covers the stadium, its adjoining land, the Saddlers Club facility and rent payments to former owner Jeff Bonser which were reportedly hundreds of thousands of pounds per year.

US-based sports investment firm Trivela Group, which controls the club, vowed to acquire the stadium within two years when it purchased a majority stake in the club from Leigh Pomlett earlier this year. In 2019, Pomlett negotiated an option to buy the stadium when he snapped up the club from Bonser.

As part of the latest transaction, Trivela has increased its stake in the club to 90%. Financing was provided by First Southern National Bank in the United States.

“Today is a landmark day in the life of the football club,” Walsall co-chairman Benjamin Boycott said.

“As of today, the club owns its own stadium after decades of tenancy. The club’s home for the future in the town is secure. The club owes a tremendous debt of gratitude today to Mr Pomlett, who has now delivered on his promise from 2019 to facilitate a situation where the club would be reunited with the freehold.

“More than anything, the club owes a debt of gratitude today to its supporters, who have ultimately made this moment possible. They have stood behind this club throughout high points and low points on the pitch, multiple ownership changes, a global pandemic and, of course, uncertainty around the stadium. Today, they can finally say that their club has a permanent home.”

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