The proposal for Leamington Football Club to move from Harbury Lane to a new community stadium just doesn’t seem to make sense. Back in April at an open forum, the board set out their requirements for a new ground to be:
- A minimum of eight acres, comprising six for community use and two for car parking.
- Sustainable facility with revenue streams.
- Freehold or 99-year plus lease, with a peppercorn rent and an ability to negotiate an extension.
- Control of its own destiny.
The earmarked site is 7.5 acres, so it fails the very first of the board’s test. Continuing a dialogue with Warwick District Council is a waste of time and money.
When the proposal first came to light, the chairman said “These discussions are still ongoing and the location for a proposed community stadium, as referred to in the council papers, is simply another possible new site for the club that is currently under consideration.”
Clearly, the view of Warwick District Council is somewhat different as it sees the Gallows Hill location as the site, not as one of many under consideration.
Given that the club owns its own ground that meets Conference North standards and is in full control of its own destiny, why compromise on the very first point when you don’t have to? Although I believe that the case for a move is based on unrealistic expectations and unachievable attendance figures, if the board really believes it is necessary, then it should stick to its guns on its minimum requirements and walk away from this proposal.
David Hucker, via email