Warning to fans over new ground

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A former chairman of Stamford AFC fears the planned move to a new stadium could take away the club’s autonomy.

The Daniels have revealed ambitious plans to build a new football ground and sports education facility, to be shared with New College Stamford, in Ryhall Road.

The club says the £5m facility, which would be developed in partnership with the Burghley House Preservation Trust, would be used by both the club and the college alike.

But former chairman John Drewnicki is worried that by sharing the ground the club will lose its autonomy.

An outline planning application for a stadium to be used solely by the club on the same site has already been approved.

In a letter to current chairman Chris Rivett, which he also sent to the Mercury, Mr Drewnicki said that under the new plans there would be no dedicated clubhouse and large functions may have to use classrooms.

He added: “Without a compelling social side to the club, and the ability to hold events strategically throughout the year whenever required, it will become very difficult to maintain support (from fans) and the revenue that brings.”

Mr Drewnicki also warned fans that a shared ground could affect future expansion.

He said: “The dugout side of the ground, which has housing to the rear, cannot be extended in the future and is extremely limited in space in its current form.”

Mr Drewnicki finished by asking the board of Stamford AFC to “regain control of this project and safeguard the future of the club.”

We contacted Mr Rivett for a comment on the letter but he said the club would not be talking about the stadium plans while they were still in the planning process.

The new plans and a vitual tour of the facility were shown to the public in January at two consultation events at Stamford Arts Centre last month.