Reds chairman baffled by stadium decision

By Ian Dipple Wednesday 27 November 2013 Updated: 28/11 08:55

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Buy photos » Redditch chairman Chris Swan has urged the council to back plans to relocate the club. Picture by Ian Dipple (s).

THE CHAIRMAN of Redditch United says he is baffled and confused by councillors' decision to reject the club's stadium move.

But Chris Swan told the Standard he was determined the club - losing £60,000 a year - would survive despite the setback.

"I'm just confused, I don't understand what was going on. How can they be concerned when they haven't even spoken to the developers. If they had sat down with the developers I could understand it," he said.

"We will just have to engage with the process but I hope it gets sorted quicker than the two and a half years we have been talking about it so far. I won't let the junior section suffer and that's what it's about the youngsters in Redditch. I am determined there will still be a Redditch United."

On the rent freeze he added: "The rent wasn't the argument, yes it was about sustainability, but the main argument was about providing facilities for the 1,000 youngsters who want to play football in Redditch and we've got one pitch and two changing rooms at the end of this meeting."

Mr Swan also denied they had blocked publication of the full details around the club's business case behind the move, insisting he had not been asked to present in that level of detail to the committee but councillors had been provided the figures privately. He added they would be put in the public domain when the details were

presented to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee next week.

Mick Pearce, president of the club's junior section, said modern facilities were key to support the growing junior and women's sections but he doubted the council's commitment.

"The club can't carry on as it is. Financially it needs to have some sort of sustainable income, the 3G pitch would do that and we need more changing rooms and facilities. The amount of broken glass and dog excrement the managers scrape off the [junior] pitch at the moment is unreal.

"It's going to cost a lot of money and if they are not prepared to put up the money to help with relocation I can't see it."

Current Reds manager Liam McDonald said he hoped a deal could still be done.

"The council have said everybody wants it, I can see their reasons why they're against the relocation, but I hope with Chris and the team they can work together and get something sorted.

"It's a positive thing which is going to benefit the town which is the important thing."

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