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County Ground purchase reaches the exchange stage

Football club closes in on landmark joint venture with fans…

6 February 2023

Club News

County Ground purchase reaches the exchange stage

Football club closes in on landmark joint venture with fans…

6 February 2023

Swindon Town Football Club has edged a step closer to the purchase of The County Ground as part of a joint venture that will see the stadium jointly owned with supporters.

Working closely with Swindon Town Community Mutual Ltd (TrustSTFC), contracts have now been signed and exchanged between their joint venture company, The County Ground Stadium Custodians Ltd, and Swindon Borough Council.

Alongside the exchange, a deposit of £230,000 has been paid, meaning that a legally binding deal is now in place, and the stadium purchase can move forward, with completion scheduled by the end of March at the latest.

Funding for the £2.3million acquisition is coming from the Nigel Eady Trust.

Nigel was a lifelong Swindon Town fan who sadly passed away back in January 2012, leaving a considerable legacy to the football club, on the proviso the money be used for the long-term benefit of the club and local community.

The deal will see the football club and supporters take full ownership of the County Ground site from the Borough Council as part of an equal fifty-fifty split, which will not only reduce rental costs by half, but allow for significant developments across the stadium using the money saved.

Plans include upgrading two stands and building a hotel and conference facility on the Town End over the next five years.

Swindon Town Chairman, Clem Morfuni, said: “This is massive for the football club and a significant step forward, as it means the joint venture is now fully committed to completing the purchase over the coming months.

“We’d like to place on record our sincere gratitude to the Nigel Eady trustees who have been so supportive throughout this long process.”

TrustSTFC Chairman, Steve Mytton, added: “On behalf of all supporters, we would like to thank Nigel Eady and all his trustees for funding this historic purchase.

“Upon completion, we can ensure the County Ground is developed in the best possible way for the benefit of both the club and local community.”

Rob Carter, from the Nigel Eady Trust, commented: “We’re delighted that contracts have now been exchanged and look forward to completion as soon as possible.

“The purchase of the County Ground is a fitting legacy for Nigel, and he would be very proud to see this happening as it opens the door for much needed improvements across the stadium, which in turn will contribute to the future success of our great club.”

Councillor David Renard, Leader of Swindon Borough Council, said: “I’m extremely pleased to see the County Ground will soon be in the hands of the football club and its fans.

“This is a deal I’ve wanted to get done for a long time and getting it over the line is all thanks to the fantastic work that has taken place behind the scenes from colleagues at the Council, football club and the Supporters Trust.

“This is a huge moment for the club and the fans, and I’m sure it will prove to be a pivotal point in its history.

“I know the football club and the Trust have big plans for the ground, and I’m very excited to see what comes next, both on and off the pitch.”

The County Ground, which has been the home of Swindon Town since 1896, is a key part of the areas sporting and community heritage, and the completion of the purchase will mark a new chapter in its history.

The move also signifies the first time the club and supporters have owned the stadium, with the unique ownership model ensuring it’s future legacy for generations to come.

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