09:13AM, Thursday 21 May 2020
Maidenhead United are pressing ahead with their plans to move from York Road to Braywick Park in the coming years, and CEO Jon Adams says it’s still possible those plans won’t be delayed by the coronavirus pandemic.
It’s reasonable to assume that with most staff currently on furlough, and with no timescale in place for the return of football, the club’s ground move might have been placed on the back-burner.
However, although Adams admits COVID-19 may well have an influence on the process for moving the Magpies out of York Road and up the road to Braywick Park, its not yet delayed or derailed their plans.
“With regards to the new ground it may or may not be pushed back,” said Adams.
“We’re still pressing ahead with our proposals in relation to bringing our vision of taking the club to Braywick Park to realisation.
“Clearly the COVID stuff has an influence on our ability to deliver that, but that doesn’t mean we can’t and we won’t.
“We’ll continue to drive forward and potentially within the original time scales.
“But there’s clearly a risk of it being delayed because of everything that’s going on.”
Late last year the Magpies released a statement announcing their intention to explore a move away from York Road – the oldest continually used ground in world football.
Adams and chairman Peter Griffin put their case forward to fans, with the site of Maidenhead Athletic Club’s (MAC) running track their preferred location. The club has held positive discussions with key stakeholders at Braywick Park, including MAC and Maidenhead RFC, while the council has agreed to the move in principle.
The club believes that if planning hurdles are successfully overcome, they could move into their new ground in as little as three years, and they’ve also promised not to vacate York Road until work on the new stadium is completed. It’s also possible that the recently constructed Railway Side stand at York Road could be taken apart and re-assembled to form part of the new ground.
Adams has also said that discussions are currently ongoing to ‘try and find a partner to work with over the sale of the land at York Road’.
“We’re trying to be optimistic and want to drive it forward,” added Adams.
“Our plans don’t change in that regard. It’s a preferred solution for the club because we need it (the new ground) to invest in our facilities.
“In many ways it’s even more important at present because, when we come through all of this, we’ll have something just as exciting to look forward to and it would be an additional boost to the football club in terms of our long term finances and sustainability.
“We’re still trying to work to our original programme so we’re trying to find a partner to work with in regards to the sale of the York Road site.
“Clearly things are taking a little bit longer, but that doesn’t mean we can’t catch things up in the middle.
“It would be wrong to say that these are specific timescales, but our plan is to find a resolution for York Road which enables us to deliver the new stadium we need.
“And when we’re in that position we can go back and finalise the arrangements with the local authority.”