Reds ‘up for sale’ if no progress made

By <b>Ian Dipple Friday 11 April 2014 Updated: 11/04 11:40

REDDITCH United could be put up for sale within weeks if concrete proposals are not forthcoming for the future development of the club.

Chairman Chris Swan issued the warning after it was revealed ambitious plans to relocate The Reds to a new stadium in Washford and build housing on their current Valley Stadium home were dead in the water.

A panel of councillors set-up to scrutinise the executive committee’s decision not to proceed with the £3.3million project, has reported it is unable to overturn the ruling but has asked officers to look at how the club could be expanded at its present location.

Speaking to the Standard Mr Swan said the club lost £5,000 last month and £60,000 a year which he was putting in out of his own pocket but that would not continue indefinitely. He added he would review the situation at the end of the season and if talks did not result in firm proposals for a way forward he would pull out of the club and put it up for sale, putting a major question mark over its future.

“We are willing to have those talks because we’ve got to look at everything because the club is not viable unless something is done. What can’t happen is it becomes the talking shop it has been for the last three years, things have got to happen pretty quickly or there will be consequences for the club,” he said.

“It can’t just be platitudes about engaging with the club or welcoming dialogue, it’s got to be something that makes a difference. We need something very concrete, very quickly.”

Coun David Bush, who chaired the review panel, said the financial case would only stack up if the council agreed no affordable housing would be provided on the site, something the ruling Labour group were unlikely to agree to and it may also not get through the planning system.

“There is a covenant in place on Terry’s Field but as long as there was adequate public access or use of the facilities it would still be in keeping with the spirit of the covenant.”

Coun Carole Gandy said the relationship between the council and the club had broken down and urged them to re-open talks as soon as possible.

“I don’t think this means we should shut the door completely on what we want to do between us and Redditch United and continue having a flourishing football club.”

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