Recession delays new stadium

PUBLISHED: 15:00 18 December 2010

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A VISION to move Weston Football Club to a new state-of-the-art stadium is no closer to reality almost nine months after it was first unveiled.

Chairman Paul Bliss said the slow recovery of the housing market had stunted progress on plans for the Seagulls’ desired new home on the town’s airfield.

The club hopes to strike a deal with developer Persimmon to give up the club’s Woodspring Stadium in exchange for land on the airfield development.

Money acquired as part of the agreement would go toward building the new ground and providing a community facility which could generate further income for the club.

But Mr Bliss said: “Since announcing our plan I’m afraid there has been no further discussions with Persimmon - it really is a situation of waiting and seeing what happens.

“The slump of the housing market has slowed down building so there has been no rush to launch negotiations regarding the site. Realistically it could be another four to five years before anything happens.”

On the field the club has improved this season under new manager Craig Laird, already achieving the number of points this season picked up all of last season.

The club is ninth place in the Blue Square Conference South, three points from the play-offs, six levels below the Premier League.

But despite success, the club gets the lowest attendances in the league, filling up less than 10 per cent of the ground’s 3,000 capacity.

Mr Bliss said: “I suppose it is disappointing not to get the crowds of clubs around you in the league.

“But we have just got to keep plugging away and hope success on the pitch increases interest from the town.

“At least the attendances mean there is no urgency for a new ground.”

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