REDEVELOPMENT of the County Ground will be one of Swindon Town’s priorities in the coming months as it looks to boost club coffers.
With the green light from the High Court of Justice to continue as owner of the club, Lee Power spoke out on his plans for the future, including commercial opportunities which had presented themselves at the stadium.
He said third-party investors had shown varying interest over the past 12 months, with nothing but interest in redeveloping the club’s stadium.
“A lot of people are interested, like they all are in football, in the redevelopment of this and that, no-one seems to have any interest in the football which is difficult for me because that’s all I’m interested in,” said Power.
“Commercially there are opportunities for the club with that development.
“Sangita (Shah, director) will be taking up the talks now with the council (Swindon Council) regarding the lease and so on.
“If we have to bring the right partner, if that is the right time, that’s when we will look at something. From a football perspective it will stay quite tight.”
Nothing significant has been on the table with regards the future of the County Ground since July 2012, when former chief executive Nick Watkins outlined plans for doubling the capacity of the Town End and providing pitchside-view function rooms.
At the time, Watkins stressed the club could not secure any funding until the planning application was approved.
Nothing came of those ideas, but Shah intends now to press forward with council discussions in the hope plans can be made.
She said: “For the council it was like: ‘there’s a lease, there’s some development opportunities, what can we do practically to benefit the interests of the club?’ “I could just come up with chapter and verse, but I have no idea. All we want to do is just have a very focussed, considered conversation to see what is possible and what isn’t possible.”
Shah would not be drawn on whether the plans involved expansion, but Power said he had not given any thought to moving the club out of the town and into a new stadium elsewhere.
Power said he was not looking to make a quick buck out of Swindon Town either. He made fans firmly aware of his intention to get the club on a sound financial footing.
He said: “All I’m trying to do, is do my best, get the business working.
“Owners are only here for a period of time, fans are there and it’s handed down through generations, but when I leave my tenure at this football club and it’s in a healthy position people can sit back and say I did my best.
“That’s all I’m trying to do.”