Saturday, 17 June 2017

So where will AFCB be playing football in 2020/21?

I am sure the club wants to be able to give the fans some positive news about the progress of developments for the new stadium, but with no glimmer of a statement on the horizon it does not take a great mathematician to work out that time will shortly be running out to get plans through for a new stadium and its construction for the 2020/21 season, unless a site is named soon.
Something tells me AFCB could still be here for a while yet.
The Bournemouth Echo reported at the end of May that the Wessex Field site that will have a spur road to link it with the A338 can now be ruled out as a potential new stadium venue, as it is being developed for the Bournemouth International Growth (BIG) programme. 

There also appears no sign of any preference or movement towards getting an arrangement to move to the Canford Park Arena or land nearer to Bournemouth Airport - Poole or Christchurch here we come! Well, maybe not.

Whether the Bournemouth Borough Council or the club is dragging its feet is hard to tell, but with no site and no surveys for traffic, residential and environmental impact concerns, AFCB don't look a great deal further forward than where they were back in December 2016, when Neill Blake said the club had no option but to seek a new stadium as it could not get a deal with the freeholder - Structadene - at Dean Court for expansion.

So where does this leave everything? I am most concerned that if a site can't be found that the Cherries will go back to Structadene to try and reach a compromise that would see the stadium only moderately expanded if successful. Top negotiators might be in short supply, but perhaps the club is not in such a rush to get a final decision, if it is not clear that a new site can be found to tick all the boxes locally.

It would be helpful if the club could make a statement at some point this summer to at least keep the fans in the picture as to what the current sticking points are, and to let us know if all that has been achieved since the announcement was made that the club needed a new home is simply to rule certain sites out.

If the silence continues for much longer though you'd probably be wise to make sure your seat is still in good order at Dean Court, as it might yet have to keep you seated for a while yet.

In other news, are you getting used to the new look official AFCB website? I am not sure how much of the old news remains on the site, but it is a fresh and modern look. I'm sure we will all get used to it soon enough.

Breaking News: Since writing this piece, I have heard that a club statement may possibly be made in September about the new ground and it may even be too soon to rule out Wessex Fields! 

AFCB tickets on sale dates 

HITC article - Millwall's Tommy Elliot is determined to be a success in the Championship

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