Of (dream) stadiums at Plymouth and Southend
Posted by John Beech on May 29, 2011
While the insolvency process has many shortcomings when it comes to football clubs, one good thing it does do is shake some of the skeletons out of the cupboard. As a Pompey fan, I’m expecting some pretty shocking data, and, who knows, even legal proceedings, to emerge as forensic accountants work on the liquidation of the old company (1).
At Plymouth Argyle a bit of a shocker has emerged (2) – the sum spent on the ill-considered attempt tp get a new stadium on the back of England’s inglorious 2018 World Cup bid. If you haven’t already seen it, sit down, because it was an eye-watering figure of up to £1.2m. It doesn’t take the 20/20 vision of hindsight to see that this was plan that didn’t make sense for Argyle – see my posting Are we going stark stadium bonkers? from April last year.
Argyle fans might spare a thought for the fans of Southend United (see postings passim), where £1.2m had been spent over a year ago on the as yet unstarted Fossetts Farm new stadium, of which club Chairman Ron Martin’s family will be the financial beneficiaries. A year on and this figure has certainly gone up. Last February the club requested Southend Council’s Development Control committee to confirm the development of the new stadium as two components (3), which required the preparation of two new detailed plans for the submission. This request has been approved by the Council (4). Meanwhile there is the matter of getting shop owners out so that the Roots Hall redevelopment by Sainsburys can be given a clear run (5), doubtless with the lawyers adding to the overall final bill.
The Roots Hall redevelopment by Sainsburys cannot begin until the first part of the Fossetts Farm development is completed. I just wonder how long Sainsburys will tolerate the delays as this whole saga of a move to Fossetts Farm has been dragging on for over ten years. Perhaps I should be more understanding – Pompey have been talking of a new stadium since the 1970s, but then they haven’t pursued the idea as relentlessly, and I suspect at a rather lower cost to the club. Who knows, perhaps the investigations surrounding the liquidation of the old company may reveal a secound bout of absurd 2018 profligacy on the South coast (6).