Fleet Group Development – the consultancy service working on behalf of the club to secure a new stadium – has issued a mission statement prior to MyFC members voting on whether or not they will give permission for FGD to work with the development partner and be empowered to deal with all matters pertaining to the sale/disposal/development of the existing Stonebridge Road site on behalf of EUFC and pertaining to the interest of EUFC in the new stadium site.
The MyFC Society Board has been advised by member and solicitor David Owen; both David and FGD’s Brian Kilcullen are currently answering members’ questions on the MyFC website.
A services agreement was made effective 19 February 2008 between Fleet Group Development Limited (“FGD”) and Ebbsfleet United F.C. Limited (“EUFC”) as part of the takeover of EUFC by My Football Club Society Limited.
FGD agreed to provide consultancy services to EUFC in relation to the sourcing, planning, design and construction of a new football stadium for EUFC.
FGD must ensure that the new stadium satisfies all ground and stadium criteria as laid down and required at the time by the relevant football governing bodies and complies with all “Applicable Laws”.
FGD is working on agreeing terms with a development partner for a development scheme where it is proposed a new stadium be built in the Borough of Gravesham at nil cost to EUFC.
In order to proceed further and in line with the provisions of the services agreement, the development partner needs confirmation that FGD is fully empowered to deal with all matters pertaining to the sale/disposal/development of the existing Stonebridge Road site on behalf of EUFC and pertaining to the interest of EUFC in the new stadium site. This will be on the basis that as a minimum:
1) The new stadium is to Football League standard and EUFC gets free match day use for 99 years
2) EUFC has sufficient space in the stadium on a rent free basis so as to be able to house its administrative needs
3) Other income from the stadium will be at a level so that, after allowing for any extra match day costs, EUFC generates as a minimum the same net income as now (the aim is obviously that EUFC will generate more net income than now, but it is impossible to be sure how this project will finally come together and what income generating facilities or sharing of facilities will be needed to ensure the stadium is built, that EUFC will have long-term security of tenure with free match day use and that the development team will achieve their required return on capital. Hence, options need to be kept open here with the intention being that EUFC generates more commercial income than at present. The anticipated higher attendances from having a new stadium will also benefit EUFC)
The developer will then commit to the large amount of development seed capital needed to apply for planning permission on the Stonebridge Road site and new stadium site, currently estimated at GBP250,000.
Now the project has developed to this stage, the existing services agreement made effective 19 February 2008 needs to be updated to cover this point.
We, the Society Board, are requesting member support for EUFC to revise the Services Agreement so as to enable FGD to deal with all matters pertaining to the sale/disposal/development of the existing Stonebridge Road site on behalf of EUFC and pertaining to the interest of EUFC in the new stadium site, so long as points 1 to 3 above are achieved as a minimum.
As Brian Kilcullen is a Director and Shareholder of both FGD and EUFC, and so as to avoid any perceived potential conflict of interest, he has not been included in any discussions the Society Board or EUFC Board of Directors have had regarding this issue.
The mission statement for the stadium follows on page two.
COMMUNITY STADIUM FOR GRAVESHAM – HOME OF THE “FLEET”
To deliver a new stadium for the community and the local football club that provides excellent facilities for the people of the Borough and helps in the drive to ensure the financial sustainability of the football club.
To fully consult with all stakeholders in the Borough including fans, local residents and the council.
Reasons for new stadium
The lease on the existing ground runs out in 17 years.
The age of the ground makes meeting safety standards and maintaining the site increasingly difficult.
There are no funds to refurbish the existing ground and the only way to fund a new stadium is to release the strategic development potential of the existing site.
The value released from the existing ground and the proposed development scheme can enable a new stadium to be built at no cost to the football club and with long-term security of tenure.
To help towards financial sustainability, the club needs the bigger gates and increased non-football income that a new stadium will generate.
The club is ambitious and needs to have a stadium that meets the criteria to allow promotion through the leagues.
Timing is good with the regeneration of the area and local train services from Ebbsfleet to St. Pancras due to officially open in late 2009 which will be one of the main catalysts to growth in the area.
1. We will seek to incorporate community facilities such as education uses, medical/physio/sports injury uses, community and meeting rooms, home for Football in the Community scheme, health & fitness, nursery/creche, conference and exhibition, social events etc.
2. The new stadium will greatly enhance our Football in the Community work by having better facilities and increased staffing so as to enable us to engage more with the local community.
3. We will foster use by schools, youth and voluntary organisations, charities, local businesses and the local council.
4. We will seek to make stadium environmentally friendly, energy efficient, safe, comfortable and family orientated.
5. Stadium to be designed with full disabled facilities.
6. We will encourage links to Fastrack bus services and normal bus routes.
7. The stadium with its’ excellent location will attract more people from outside the area bringing new profile and business to EUFC, Gravesham and Kent and also boosting the profile and membership of MyFootballClub.
8. It will encourage the watching of and participation in sport. Some free use of the pitch can be made available for community users.
9. It will enhance the ambitions of the football club on and off the pitch.