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Gainsborough Trinity chairman vows to spend £500k to redevelop Northolme

By Lincolnshire Echo  |  Posted: November 15, 2012

Peter Swann 1

Gainsborough Trinity chairman Peter Swann

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Gainsborough Trinity chairman Peter Swann hopes the promise of £500,000 worth of investment at the Northolme will finally convince the Blues Club to sell him the ground.

Swann says two separate offers to purchase the ground will land on the doormat of the Blues Club on Friday and both will include the promise of heavy investment to upgrade the ground and its facilities.

The Trinity chairman has so far failed in his attempts to buy the Northolme, with the Blues Club unwilling to discuss the possibility of a sale.

But Swann believes the purchase would be in the best interests of the football club and will go a long way to securing Trinity's future.

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"I am going to submit two different offers which the Blues Club will receive on Friday," he said.

"But if I am going to put an offer in it has to be associated with the ground value, the lease I have on it, anything else associated with it and everything they would expect me to pay, so I have been calculating all that over the past couple of weeks.

"One document will include a monetary amount in it and the other one will be without a monetary amount.

"But both will include the promise of considerable investments for the ground.

"I would be looking to invest heavily, with a bigger stadium to give us a bit more room.

"We need bigger changing rooms, we need to update all the facilities completely, hot running water, toilets, everything will be upgraded if we can come to an agreement.

"The lights need upgrading, we may even put a drainage system into the ground so we are probably looking at a good half a million pounds investment.

"All that will be married up to the two different offers.

"Plus, if we can get their agreement, I would intend to upgrade the Blues Club itself to a two-storey building which could be used for sponsors and would have glass panels so guests could watch the matches from there."

Swann believes the reluctance from the Blues Club to sell the ground stems from a certain amount of mistrust.

He believes they think he intends to buy the ground only to sell it at a later date for development.

But Swann insists that is not the case and he is prepared to back up his offers with any covenant the Blues Club would want to impose in a deal.

"In both of those offers, a future share of the net profits of any sale of the ground is included," said Swann.

"Here is a chance to actually upgrade all the facilities in the ground.

"But if myself, or the football club, is going to put that much investment into the ground, I need to have the security of tenure.

"I think the main fear for the Blues Club is that I was going to come in, sell up, take all the funds and go off and build my own stadium with their funds.

"I am not interested in that, I never have been interested in that, because I don't need it.

"They (the Blues Club) could even put any covenant they want on any future deal that I don't receive all of the money.

"They might think because I own GTFC that I would get the money, but no, because it is GTFC's.

"I am even prepared to write off the loan that I have with them, the £1.7m. I would even write that off before we do any deal if that's what they want.

"It has been too easy for them to darken the waters and say all I want to do is buy the ground, sell it and then move on.

"I am not asking for the world I don't think. I am just asking to secure the future of the football club.

"If they say they are interested in these offers or even something similar, then I will sit down with them.

"But it can't be behind closed doors, the fans need to know what's going on."

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