CHERRIES REJECTED IN STADIUM BUY BACK DEAL

AFC Bournemouth has revealed it has failed with two attempts to buy back its stadium.

The south coast club has seen a real financial revival in recent years and chairman Eddie Mitchell has stated his desire to repurchase Seward Stadium. The club sold the 10,700-seater venue in December 2005 in a sale-and-leaseback deal with London property company Structadene.

Dean Court, Bournemouth

But after new investment from an unnamed businessman buying a 50% stake in the club - sharing joint ownership with Mitchell – the Cherries look to build off the field as well. "I would like to confirm we have failed in two bids and the highest was £4.5m," Mitchell told BBC Radio Solent.

Bournemouth has also recently submitted plans for two full-sized and two five-a-side pitches costing about £400,000 on unused land next to the stadium in Kings Park. The new facilities are part of the club’s ambitious plans, which include a £6m stand, new 5,000-seater enclosure at the South End, hotel, spa complex and offices.

Mitchell warned his club will consider other options if the stadium purchase did not materialise. "I don't think it makes commercial sense to increase that bid above that ceiling of £4.5m," said Mitchell.

"At this moment in time that bid has been rejected so we've got to look at what options we've got, where we invest and when we invest and how much we invest.  There are always other avenues. There are other venues for example, not that we would want to go to other venues. Football has been played at Dean Court for over 100 years and we would not want to change that.

"We've no intention of moving but if it is not financially sensible to buy the stadium back then perhaps the money that is available would be best pointed in different directions,” he added. “We have got an ongoing lease at the club which does secure our future playing there providing the rent is paid.”

Posted on 01/11/2011