Build it like Beckham

March 31, 2014

OUR last home game gave us the opportunity to share progress towards the construction of our planned new home in South Gloucestershire and the Southend United proposal for a new Shrimpers stadium in South East Essex.

Both sets of officials agreed that bringing about a new modern facility is very difficult and a good amount of hard work, perseverance and patience is required over a long period of time. Southend appear to be making good progress and hope to start building in the foreseeable future whilst at Bristol Rovers we were both relieved and very pleased with the outcome of the recent Judicial Review of planning consent with respect to our aspirations for a stadium worthy of Bristol and the 21st century.

There are endless websites on the net devoted to sport and to football in particular. One such site is concerned with the latest news about sports stadia and ! found this posted on 21st March,

“Bristol Rovers’ move away from the Memorial Stadium into a new £40 million ground is back on track after the dismissal of a legal challenge.

“A High Court judge rejected a Judicial Review, brought about by campaign group who are against a new supermarket being built on the club’s current home.

“Funding for the new 21,700 seater stadium at Stoke Gtfford is being partly financed by a new Sainsbury’s store being built at the Memorial Stadium, with that project needing to go ahead before the move can progress.”


So there you have it, BRFC making the headlines alongside the likes of AC Milan. Under the headline AC Milan identify potential new stadium site we find this story posted just three days before our own updated news broke:


“AC Milan are looking to begin the construction of a 60,000 seater stadium in 2015 as they target a move away from the San Siro. Barbara Berlusconi, daughter of owner Silvio, is on the board and has signed a document in which the club officially expressed an interest in buying an area in which the Milan World Fair will be held in 2015, known as the ‘Expo’. The site of the public exhibition will be free after the event. Milan have been at the San Siro since it’s opening in 1926, sharing it with rivals Inter for 88 years.”


I don’t know where this leaves Inter and I can only assume they will stay at the San Siro. Interesting news, given that Milan is well known for one the most guoted football ground shares in the game.


Closer to home and Eric Pickles has approved planning proposals for a new stadium construction in West London. Again from 14th March:


“Brentford’s new Lionel Road stadium has been given the final nod of approval after Eric Pickles gave the plans the green light. Nick Boles, Mr Pickles’ Under Secretary of State for Planning, confirmed the Bees can now proceed to develop a 20,000 seater stadium. The decision comes after months of waiting

after Hounslow Council granted the club planning permission in December last year and then Boris Johnson gave the green light on February 18th.”


The project, set to cost £71 million, also includes 910 new homes, a hotel and supporting retail outlets. English Heritage objected to the application due to their perceived impact of the proposals on nearby heritage assets, but the Planning Minister confirmed the decision. Good luck Brentford, and let’s hope the Bees do not suffer the frustrating delays that we have had to endure in Bristol.


Coventry City have used their club website to confirm that they are in discussions with The Football League with regards to a new stadium. The statement comes after further media speculation over the club’s future location, but the Sky Blues say they remain committed to building a new venue. Coventry have been playing at Northampton Town’s Sixfields stadium since the beginning of this season. The statement reads:


“We understand supporters’ frustrations at not yet knowing the location but the sensitivity around those land deals means we are not yet able to reveal any further detail. We are keeping the Football League fully informed of our plans and they have been satisfied with the progress we have shown them to date. We will continue to work with The Football League as per our agreement and there are no issues with the progress we have made.”


I can understand the reference to sensitivity in this statement; there is only so much you can say without upsetting the powers that be. Going about your business in a calm and quiet yet determined way has got to be the best policy; good luck to Coventry City.


It is never easy; this from the USofA as reported by, 7th March.


Royal Caribbean Cruises has announced it is in opposition to David Beckham’s plans of building a soccer stadium in PortMiami. The company this week said it had traffic concerns and has its own plans to develop on the same 12 acre site.


So there we have it; build it like Beckham, perhaps, eventually, maybe, we shall see.


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