The Labour Group on Swindon Borough Council support the proposed sale of the County Ground to the joint venture between the Club and the Supporters Trust. We are pleased to note the buy back option included in the deal, and we will urge the Council to use it if the joint venture haven’t commenced the Stadium Development Plan within three years. We also note that the Council have the first option on buying back the freehold if the JV ever want to sell, and we would always be keen to do this if needed to safeguard the future of the club.
Without these two protections in place or without the 50% stake for the Supporters Trust, we would not support the sale. Too many communities have lost their local football club or their assets to unscrupulous owners in the past, and we never want that to happen to Swindon Town fans. You don’t need a long memory in Swindon to know that owners don’t always have the club’s best interests at heart.
Some of our Labour councillors are Swindon season-ticket holders, and we are proud of the efforts of Labour Councillors in supporting securing the Asset of Community Status protection on the ground, working with the Supporters Trust a few years ago. We will always be on the side of fans in safeguarding the long-term future of the club.
We are all delighted with the performance of Clem Morfuni, Rob Angus and the club since the new team have taken over, both on and off the pitch, and recognize the huge strides they have made in involving the local community. We really hope for a positive end to the season and that the sale of the freehold of the County Ground will kickstart the much needed development of the ground and help lead to a period of sustained success for the team.