Football club rules out stadium move
PUBLISHED: 09:28 28 January 2015 | UPDATED: 09:31 28 January 2015
WESTON Football Club will not be leaving its current Woodspring Stadium home.
Oli Bliss, managing director, says the club will concentrate on improving its existing facilities and hopes to install an artificial pitch, if league officials consent.
The club hopes making changes to its current ground will help the club in the long-term and allow it to integrate more easily with the community, as new homes are planned on land surrounding its Winterstoke Road home.
The club had previously expressed interest in joining forces with Weston College to build a larger sports complex out-of-town at Locking Parklands, although that now looks unlikely.
Mr Bliss, speaking at a fans’ forum on January 18, said: “We probably aren’t moving but we are looking to develop the site.
“We aren’t looking to sell anything off but put in 3G facilities and maybe some training facilities, classrooms and a gym.”
Redecoration of the bar area, the introduction of wedding packages and allowing community groups to use the 3G facilities once built are also planned to help boost club finances.
Weston play in the sixth tier of English football in the Vanarama Conference South. The Football League and the Vanarama Conference do not currently allow artificial pitches to be used, but there are growing calls for that to change and a vote is expected in the near future.
Mr Bliss said: “It’ll happen. We want it as soon as possible as it will stop games being called off.”
The club has suffered a couple of postponements in recent weeks – most notably the first round FA Cup tie with Doncaster Rovers in November. Mr Bliss said when that game was called off, algae was noticed on the pitch in the penalty areas.
Substances used to reduce damage nine years ago have had a devastating effect on the pitch’s quality because they should have been replaced every two years – however the club was never informed.
Mr Bliss said: “It (the algae) happened for the first time at the Doncaster game. At this stage of the season we can’t do anything about improving the pitch as you can’t rotavate it or re-seed it.”
Treatment has improved the algae issue but the pitch remains below the high standards ground staff have set in recent years.