Right, the meeting between WFC and Merton Council happened last night, and it’s all been cleared up. Except for the bits that haven’t. Yeah, as usual involving WFC and the LBM, there’s definite confusion in the air. Let me explain : last night, W&WW reported that WFC were going to look at the Dog Track with a company who specialise in football stadia and would try and get a difinitive answer one way or another. Fine. However, this morning, Sport First (later repeated by TwatTalk) quotes CK:
“The costs are almost certainly prohibitive. At Â£1,000 a seat, a 25,000 capacity stadium would cost the club around Â£25million to build. “Add on top the costs of buying the site itself and the cost of demolition and you are probably talking about something in the region of Â£40million.”
Mmm, doesn’t sound quite so good does it? And when you consider that Judge Dredd of Merton in his little outburst said that CK “accepts responsibility for not following up the Greyhound Stadium” it looks rather bleak for our return to Merton. But hold on – there’s a major contradiction here. Is somebody lying? Have wires been crossed? Has a mind or two been changed, hands forced etc?
Consider the following : these quotes from (supposedly) CK and Judge Dredd must have come earlier this week – before the meeting. After the meeting, we certainly ARE looking at WGS, getting in some – and I quote – “major players” to look at it. In fact, WFC are going to get the fans involved with this in a much deeper level, apparently. This leads to another question – we hadn’t apparently done any looking into WGS before yesterday. Supposedly. So where did CK get his figures from? Unless moves have been made beforehand, the only thing I can think is that he’s been reading the council’s feasibility study from 1994 into WGS, which sounds plausible as it was mentioning similar sorts of figures IIRC.
More questions – does it really cost Â£1000 a seat? Thought the average price was about Â£25? Hell, the “safe” terracing in Germany costs something like Â£81 and that’s supposed to be state of the art. Makes you wonder how stands at places like Preston can cost only Â£4m or so (even Palaces wasn’t that expensive) and yet ours costs extortionate amounts. It’s not as though building supplies in SW19 are any more expensive than elsewhere, so what gives? Of course, I could be just paranoid here – the report DID come from Sport First, a rag not well known for its accuracy in such matters, and Judge Dredd didn’t exactly have a clue about who owns PL anyway…..
As for my views ATM, I’m supposed to be clear in my head after yesterday but I’m just more confused than ever. I will not doubt that WGS could be expensive. But I really need to be convinced we’re doing it the most efficient way before we can rule it out, I think a load of people will feel the same way. We are now closer to returning to Merton than ever before, I just don’t want it ripped out of my grasp without somebody telling me why. I could go so far as to say it could cost us a lot of support and goodwill if we chicken out of WGS without a fight – even a move to somewhere like Tolworth could cause ructions if SW19 has been inadequately poo-pooed.
Am I confident in it? I believe it’s always been possible, and hopefully the stadium feasibility people will prove it to me. I guess “wait and see” comes into play yet again. Just like it’s been for the last 10 years.
Meanwhile, KC and Kelvin have signed 5-year deals. Undoubtedly in KC’s case, this is worth more than signing another defender and chances are he’ll see his career out with us now. Until Celtic come in for him.
Elsewhere, a legend has departed the club for pastures new. I am referring of course to Johnathon Hunt, who I always thought was a tad under-rated for us this season. Also, Carl Leaburn is finally gone. Now, many other sites will give him a rapturous send off. SW19 won’t, because if we’re being honest, he was crap. I get the impression his hero-worshipping status was down more to scoring twice against Palace, which whilst extremely commendable in itself isn’t really a deity worshipping cause. Never mind, I won’t wish ill on him, he certainly had a better attitude than some ex-strikers I could mention, but at least we’re getting shot of those sort of deadwood finally. Tezzaball rolls on…..