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Owners of Gainsborough Trinity's Northolme ready to thrash out a deal

By Lincolnshire Echo  |  Posted: December 27, 2012

  • One of the stands at Northolme Stadium

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The ownership of Gainsborough Trinity's home, the Northolme, is poised to be decided in the new year.

The ground's owners, the Blues Club, have entered into talks with Trinity chairman Peter Swann about purchasing the stadium which is situated in the centre of the town.

The two parties are currently unable to agree on a price for the ground, with the Blues Club seeking a fresh valuation of the three-acre site.

However, Swann has said after an initial meeting he is hopeful, but warns there are several hurdles to overcome before a deal can be done.

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"We have had some progress," said Swann.

"We have met and discussed two different offers for the ground. The Blues Club then held an EGM and I understand there were about 100 or 150 members there.

"I think they talked about the proposals in general, some are for it, some are against, which sounds about right. I think there is a 50-50 spilt at the moment."

Swann says he understands the Blues Club are seeking an independent valuation of the land the football ground sits on, but says his valuation and the Blues Club's current valuation are very different.

Swann's offer is understood to equate to around £300,000, but there may yet be room for negotiation.

"I think they are working on getting a viable valuation on the ground, but what they value it at and what we value it at are very different," he said.

"They (the Blues Club) value the land with regard to its ability to be used for housing in the future.

"But even if you look at housing in the area, you are only looking at £200,000 an acre, we have three and a bit acres here, so you would be looking at something like £700,000.

"But, to be honest, all that is irrelevant because football is going to be played on here.

"It has nothing to do with housing and what the land could be worth in the future.

"It's what the land is worth at the moment as a football club. If we can get over that hurdle, we will be fine.

"I have told the Blues Club, if the land is sold in the future I don't want any of it, I don't need it.

"There is a lot of amicability between the two parties, but there are things to overcome.

"There are two offers in. They like some parts of one and some parts of the second. So it will be a matter of us all sitting down in January and going through it.

"We haven't fixed a date yet. They will get their valuation and that will come our way and after that I will have a think of a renewed offer to see if it would tempt something.

"Then I assume that offer would have to be put to the members and it will be a members' vote."

"The big thing is, if the football club don't get the ground then I, or the football club are not going to invest."

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