Well, as you all known, that meeting is taking place today. Supposed to start at 4.30pm, the finish is scheduled for 6pm or so. So, what do we feel? I know how I feel – I have a heady mixture of hope, anticipation, paranoia and negativity rolled all into one. Confused? Hope for obvious reasons, anticipation for obvious reasons. Paranoia? Well, I just fear it will all go wrong, it’s happened before. Negativity? Follows on from paranoia. I honestly believe that today will not be the definitive statement we want – after today, I still think there will be a degree of limbo though obviously not as much as before. Here’s what we do know – HOK and CK have been contacted by Jarvis Astaire to see if they could combine the two sports into one giant stadium. Is it possible? One would hope so, and this may be what today’s meeting is about. Expect nothing from today and anything additional is a bonus.
Also, to prove that the football season is kicking back into life, the Worthless Cup first round draw is out. And guess what – we’re in it. And guess who we’re playing? Brighton at the Withdean. Man, that’s a swell one if ever I saw it, though driving/parking could be fun. It takes place on the week commencing 20th August, so you may even wrangle a day trip on the coast for that one. Also, Millwall are playing Cardiff…….
More later, assuming anything happens….
UPDATE: If you have read W&WW, then you’ll know the bad news. If you don’t, here goes. We will never play in Merton again. Sorry to say that, it’s probably the hardest thing I’ll ever have to write. The reasons? Well, without the aid of any official statement and only what JZ has written, it’s down to cost and logistics.
Whilst a joint WFC/GRA thing is possible, CK reckons it will cost an extra Â£60m to build in the first place. Unfortunately, it’s Â£60m that we will never get back, which when you figure that WFC cost “only” Â£30m is probably a figure too far. Also, sharing with the GRA would have been nigh on impossible : they hold races on Saturday evenings which they claim is their busiest time of the week, given that the dogs warm up at about 6pm anyway would have made things very tricky. Given that the GRA were going to stay put, I guess that paying lots of Â£Â£Â£ for something that would have been not totally ideal was always going to scupper it in CK’s mind.
So now what? Well, I expect disappointment. I expect anger that CK ruled it out on cost but once we get that out of our system we have really got to sit down and start replanning. All is definitely not lost – there have been murmurings of a 148 acre site in Surrey that is up for grabs, apparently, which is reckoned to be a) better, and b) cheaper for WFC. So once the grief of tonight’s announcement subsides, we pick ourselves up and we start again.
Before anyone says “but I want Merton”, consider the following : WFC never really played in Wimbledon, we were always near Summertown in the LB Wandsworth. Blackburn don’t play in Blackburn, they play in Darwen. Man U play in Salford, under Trafford Borough Council. Bolton play in Horwich, a staggering 4 miles from Bolton. Grimsby play in Cleethorpes, even our esteemed fellow squatters at Palace don’t play anywhere near Crystal Palace itself. The point is, we don’t need to play in Wimbledon itself to be Wimbledon FC. We need a new ground as near as dammit, but if we did get somewhere about 4-5 miles away, we would still be WFC.
The bottom line of today is this, CK is not going to bankrupt Wimbledon FC over the WGS. We have to accept that fact now. I’m disappointed as everyone else, but we must move on. We sat and moped after Hammam rejected WGS the first time (though CK seemed to go through the proper channels this time and therefore I can accept tonight a bit better), and we wasted 7 years in doing so. We now need to push the mantle for as near as Wimbledon as possible, I’m not going through another 7 years of shit again. There are options, good ones I’m told, let’s just make sure we get them.
More later, I need a beer….