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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

Stadiums

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What is a big club?

Joe Cole's comment that Liverpool are the biggest club in the country provoked a debate on Radio 5 this morning.   There is no one criterion that determines whether a club is big or not.   Attendances and the size of the stadium are certainly part of the picture and honours are also a criterion.   But supposing most of them were won a long time ago?   Does the fact that Nottingham Forest won the European Cup twice make it a big club?   Is Liverpool's claim based largely on the fact that it has won the European competition five times and can

The stadium legacy in South Africa

It's a challenge for an economic and financial broadsheet like the Financial Times when faced with an event like the World Cup.   However, they have won praise for an excellent series of articles by the renowned football writer Simon Kuper.   They have also been examining the economic background to the tournament and today they look at the legacy of stadiums built or refurbished for the competition.

Wolves to re-build Molineux

Wolves have decided to embark on a phased re-build of their Molineux stadium.  They did consider leaving the ground that has been their home for 121 years, but a search revealed no alternative sites.  The area is highly developed and the present site is conveniently located close to Wolverhampton city centre.

Setback for White Hart Lane plans

The £400m re-development of White Hart Lane is of crucial importance to Tottenham Hotspur's future plans.  The current capacity of 36,310 cannot provide the gate revenue that clubs like Arsenal and Manchester United receive and the club has 23,000 potential season ticket holders on a waiting list.  Spurs have had a very successful season on the pitch, but like all clubs interested in competing at Champions League level, they need the infrastructure to sustain that.

Brighton's new stadium on track

Brighton fans received broad-based backing from supporters of other clubs in their fight to keep going.  Unpopular owners saw them evicted from their Goldstone Ground.   For a while they had to play home games at Gillingham, but the spirit was kept alive.   However, the Withdean athletics stadium which they currently rent is one of the worst venues for away fans in the Football League.  They are placed in a temporary stand, separated from the action by an athletics track.   It won't just be Brighton fans who are pleased when the new Falmer Stadium is

Farewell to Saltergate

Some years ago I went to a match at Chesterfield's Saltergate stadium which had a capacity of just 8,504.  It was an evocative atmosphere and the small group of away fans at one end of a stand were seated on what looked like wooden benches.  Now the Spireites have played their last game there.   Their wealthy new owner who is in the Sunday Times rich list has brought to completion a long-term plan to move to a new 10,000 capacity stadium.

Relocation is all the rage for Spanish clubs

Relocation as a means of modernisation is a strategy currently favoured by a number of Spanish clubs, but it's not all been plain sailing.  Espanyol started the trend by moving from the unpopular Montjuic ground to much more up market surroundings at their sparkling new Cornella-El Prat home.

Two approaches to promotion to the Premiership

There are broadly two approaches that promoted clubs can adopt to the Premiership.   One is to spend and hope that they can establish themselves as a Premier League club.  Unfortunately, that approach looks like it is not going to work for Hull City.  Another approach is to spend prudently, the calculation being that even if the club is relegated it will be in a stronger financial position, particularly given the expected increase in the size and duration of parachute payments.   Wolves have spent prudently and have stayed up; Burnley have spent prudently and b

Grays leave ground after 100 years

Relegated Blue Square Premiership club Grays Athletic are to leave their home at the Rec after 100 years.  In all too familiar story, the ground has been sold by the landlords for housing.  The club cannot afford the cost of a Conference-standard stadium share.   Thurrock was the best prospect, but Grays cannot afford the £55,000 a year asked for.   Rather than take their place in the Blue Square South, they look set to drop down to the Ryman League with Tilbury as a possible location.   The plan is to re-build as a community club.

FC United plan new stadium at Newton Heath

FC United, the club now in the Unibond Premier League that was formed when the Glazers took over Manchester United, are planning to develop a 5,000-capacity stadium at their spiritual home at Newton Heath within the next three years.   They have averaged around 2,000 supporters at Bury's Gigg Lane ground this season.