Football Management

Commentary on the management of over 160 English football clubs by Dr John Beech, winner of the FSF Writer of the Year Award 2009/10 Twitter: @JohnBeech Curator of! Football Finance

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).

2 Responses to “Of (dream) stadiums at Plymouth and Southend”

  1. Richard said

    Fossetts Farm has not been dragging on for over 10 years.

    It was only agreed in 2007.

    • John Beech said

      The need for a new stadium arose in 1999 with the sale of Roots Hall. Plans were submitted for a new stadium at Fossetts Farm in July 2000, over ten years ago – see here

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