Friday, 26 November 2010

Land of hope and glory

Terry Casey
Securing the land at Whatman Way has taken a great deal of time and money but thankfully, apart from finalising the purchase of the freehold, we are now in total control of the land.

We have paid off the loans to a mortgage company that charged interest rates more associated with loan sharks than a building society and we have paid off the entire loan to Maidstone Borough Council. The sub lease that was attached to the borough council loan meant we could not do anything with the land to generate any income. These payments have put the club into a position of power and security and means that we can open up the site for the weekends until Christmas (starting 4 December) as a car park so that we can generate some money that will ease the considerable pressure on our balance sheet.

The Maidstone United car park will be open from 8.30am until 6.30pm each Saturday until Christmas and 9.30am to 4.30pm each Sunday until Christmas. It will also open from 8.30am until 6.30pm on the 23rd and 24th of December. The cost will be £5 per car and we are hoping to bring in some much needed revenue. It will also be symbolic of the fact that the Maidstone United Football Club has once again some sort of presence back in the town. We now intend to utilise the land in any way that enables us to raise money to help secure the future of the club.

After a great deal of time considering numerous different alternatives we have finally decided on the stadium plan that we feel will meet the needs of the first team and the many players that represent Maidstone United. We are being supported by one of the leading developers in the South of England who is providing us with a detailed estimate and invaluable technical advice.

Once we know exactly how much funding is required we will then present this and a detailed business plan to possible investors for them to consider whether they want to support Maidstone United Football Club. The business plan will look at the possible income streams provided by a 3G artificial pitch as the cost of this type of surface is substantially more expensive than the traditional grass pitch and if we decide to use this type of surface it must be able to make sound commercial sense.

Every week has been “crunch time” for all of us since we took over in early October. We started by paying the creditors who were about to close the club down then started paying those who had charges and control over the land at Whatman Way. This next phase of our plan is even more crucial as we must attract enough money to build the new stadium otherwise, as I have said before our efforts will have been wasted.   

I remain optimistic that we can attract enough people to become involved in something that will be truly momentous and historic by bringing Maidstone United back home.