We are delighted to announce significant progress on our journey back to Plough Lane.
Earlier today we completed a key stage for the development of a new stadium at Plough Lane, when the land on which that stadium will be built was transferred to a subsidiary of the Dons Trust, The Wider Interests of Football Limited. With effect from today, we own the freehold to that land.
A number of other transactions took place at the same time as the land transfer. These included the completion of the sale of The Cherry Red Records Stadium to Chelsea and the consequent transfer of funds to the Club; the use of some of those funds to repay the existing loan from Barclays, which was secured on our current stadium; the transfer of existing stadium grants from our current stadium to the new site; and making available to us the funds from Merton Catalyst (the joint venture of Galliard Homes and Catalyst Housing Association).
AFC Wimbledon Chief Executive Erik Samuelson said: “The transfer of the freehold to our land on the Plough Lane site is a massive step forward. In the meantime, the work to develop the design of the stadium continues apace and we can turn our attention to finalising the options. When that is done, the Trust’s Stadium Oversight Team can complete its plans to consult fans and members, initially about the design (which is still being worked on) and then later in 2019 the match day experience.
Mark Davis, Chair of the Dons Trust, said: ‘Today’s news comes as a hugely welcome Christmas present for AFC Wimbledon supporters. Finally, we no longer need to call Plough Lane our spiritual home – it’s our actual home. There are many people who deserve our thanks for making this happen, and I shall save their blushes for another day. In the meantime, we look forward to creating the stadium and matchday experience that our supporters want and to making Wimbledon the proud hosts, once again, of a football team that punches well above its weight. Come on you Dons!’