Political Economy of Football
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Give Us A Stadium, Gold Tells Brum

 

02/12/2004

Birmingham chairman David Gold has urged the city of Birmingham to provide the Blues with a stadium equivalent to the City of Manchester stadium provided for Manchester City on very favourable terms. That was, of course, originally built for the Commonwealth Games and one can hardly see Villa fans welcoming the proposal. Gold claimed, 'Birmingham is one of the great cities of Europe and it has many cultural centres, but it does not have a great stadium and it should have. We are a city to be proud of and we have got to grasp the nettle.' The proposed 50-acre site, on land owned by the city council, is currently home to Birmingham Wheels go-kart track. You see the track on your left as you come into Birmingham from London on the train: it is not too far from City's current St.Andrews ground which also backs on to a railway line. The Las Vegas Sands Group, one of America's biggest gambling companies, has agreed to underwrite the whole cost of the venture. Gould stated: 'There are four options for us. We could do nothing. If you can survive on a 30,000 capacity without burdening yourself with debt - and we have no debt - then there is a case for that. You could rebuild the main stand at a cost of 12m to increase the capacity by five or six thousand - but they would be the most expensive seats in the Premiership. We could build a brand new 40,000-seater stadium on our own which I think, unless we received help, does not seem feasible. Then there is that fourth possibility that the city of Birmingham builds a stadium which we all [surely not Villa?] share.' Of course, in the meantime, City must ensure that they are not relegated.

 


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