The position of Kingstonian FC
Following a Dons Trust statement about the future of the Cherry Red Records Stadium, the board of Kingstonian FC also released a press statement.
The board of Kingstonian wished to make its position clear and their statement is published in full below.
We are, of course, aware of the recent announcement by AFC Wimbledon Trust that they have submitted their planning application to Merton Borough Council, and of the club’s need to eventually sell Kingsmeadow to help finance their proposed new stadium in Plough Lane.
If AFC Wimbledon are successful with its planning appliaction they would vacate Kingsmeadow in the next three to four years.
The Dons Trust have kept us informed of their progress at all times. Our board have therefore been able to assess the effect the Dons’ departure from Kingsmeadow could have on Ks, particularly if the eventual purchaser of the ground is not able to facilitate our club continuing to play at the stadium. The board has always understood this could happen one day, given that we are not in a position to buy Kingsmeadow.
Our continuous dialogue with the Dons Trust has reached a point where, because of their culture and previous experiences, they fully understand our position and have expressed their desire to give us (as always) as much moral, practical and financial assistance as possible.
After much long and careful thought, Ks Board have come to the conclusion that the best long-term interests of our club would be served by us taking this opportunity to leave Kingsmeadow, at the appropriate time, and finding a stadium better suited to our needs, income and level of support.
It is important for all to know that our search for a new facility is well underway and progress has been made. Otherwise the process could be lengthy and frustrating, as clubs such as Horsham and Cray have discovered.
The identity of possible new locations for Ks must remain confidential as speculation would inevitably undermine this process. Naturally we all expect to receive significant support from Kingston Council and our local MP.
The board, of course, fully understands that some supporters will be reluctant to move from Kingsmeadow. However, the facts before us are that a 5,000 capacity stadium, which is expensive to maintain, and where, in future, we would be subject to rent, is simply not a practical option for us to consider, even if the stadium continued to be available for us to use.