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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme



Save Hitchin Town

The fight is on to save Hitchin Town, one of three clubs to play in the first FA Cup that is still taking part today.   They are threatened with losing their ground and having to use an out of town site they don't want.

One complication that this report does not make clear is that the ground is owned by a charity (which has a general obligation under charity law to make best use of its assets) while the club is run by a company.

Stadium crisis at Hayes and Yeading

Conference South club Hayes & Yeading may only have three months to come up with £300,000 or face closure.    They need this just to move into their partly built new home at Beaconsiield Road and another £1.2m to complete the structure of their main stand.    The club ground shared at Woking and more recently at Maidenhead United.

Liverpool ready to expand Anfield

Liverpool expect the redevelopment of the main stand at Anfield to earn the club an extra £20m per season.   The cost of the £114m project is being funded by an interest free loan from owners Fenway Sports Group (FSG) out of their cash reserves.

Liverpool will repay the loan to FSG over five-and-a-half years.   The possibility of securing a naming rights partner is being pursued, something that would be available for a one off payment of £10m.

New threat to QPR stadium plans

Queens Park Rangers face a new threat to their plan to build a stadium at Old Oak Common.   Cargiant, the biggest landowner in the area, have now teamed up with the property company owned by the billionaire Livingstone brothers, giving their alternative project more credibility.  However, a consultation suggests that 90 per cent of local residents favour QPR's plans.

The demographics of daring to dream

Brentford (3rd) and Bournemouth (4th) are the two surprise packages of the Championship so far this season.  At the start of the season, Brentford fans would probably have settled for consolidation in the division with a lower mid-table position being seen as good enough.  Four Four Two forecast that they would be 22nd and one could get 12-1 on them being promoted at the beginning of the season and just 7/2 on relegation.

Grimsby plan for new stadium

Grimsby Town have announced plans to leave Blundell Park after 115 years.  The new ground at Peaks Parkway, just under three miles away, could be linked with supermarket and housing developments.  The club argues that they do not have a sustainable future at Blundell Park.

An online petition set up by supporters in favour of the move has received over 5,000 signatures, but not all fans are enthusiastic.   Some argue that a new stadium should not be built near a crematorium, hospice and hospital.

Hearts could leave Tynecastle

Hearts might eventually have to leave Tynecastle according to new owner Ann Budge.   The stadium has been neglected for some time and is in a state of disrepair.  In particular, the neglected 100 year old main stand is a problem.

The stadium is being patched up, with particular attention to the requirements of safety, but there are limits to what can be done given the prudent financial approach of the new regime.

Fire at building blocking new Spurs stadium

The building blocking the redevelopment of Tottenham Hotspur's White Hart Lane stadium has been devastated by fire.   The club has been trying to buy Archway Sheet Metals for ten years, but has been unable to agree terms.   The delay has held up the club's plans for a new stadium with greater capacity.

Top clubs boost Cup attendances

The average attendance at FA Cup matches from the first round to the quarter finals was 11,818 over the last decade compared to 11,398 between 1994 and 2004.   Does that mean that the 'magic of the Cup' has not gone away?   In fact, it seems largely down to top clubs building bigger stadiums.

Bayern pay off stadium debt

Further evidence of how well run Bayern Munich is as a club comes with the news that they have paid off the debt on their Allianz Arena stadium.   The debt of £346m was taken out in 2005 and was supposed to be paid off over 25 years rather than just nine.

All this has been achieved alongside success on the pitch.   However, as always, a note of caution is needed about the 'German model'.   It doesn't always translate easily elsewhere.