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Bearwood. A view from the other side.



  • No they can't of course but there are no new houses on the site (of course) or surrounding land suggesting that is unlikely to be permissable.

    Given we don't know how much the club has offered them or whether Couhig is telling the (whole) truth, that feels quite a harsh conclusion.

  • Then again, with the pitches so poor, why would the club want to buy the current training ground?

  • I may be wrong but when listening to the podcast I thought it was inferred that they didn't want to sell to a particular group not that they didn't want to sell in general?

  • Is this a safe space to point out that Holmer Green was good enough for Martin O’Neil?

  • I understand what you’re getting at but Holmer Green did have a purpose built football pitch and advances in sports science and prevention of injuries has come a long way in 30 years.

  • That whole corner of our fair county is up for re-zoning or re-development when the film studio does or does not happen. If you are patient I would imagine that little plot will become very appealing for someone. If I was a wealthy person with a hand in property development I wouldn't sell it.

  • Your presumption is that the land is very unlikely to be opened to property development, whereas @TheAndyGrahamFanClub suggests this situation might change in future.

    If the Marlow Road owners bought the training ground from the club a few years ago with an eye on selling off for property development one day, fans should be disappointed in those individuals at the very least as it could be viewed as asset stripping.

    I agree we don't know how much Rob is offering and it is subject to negotiation, I can also see that the training ground owners might want some protection that Rob isn't interested in property development on the site. Is there any way that property development at Marlow Road could benefit WWFC or has that ship sailed?

  • No that is not quite my view on this matter.

    The training ground was sold 10 years or so ago. At that time the potential property development upside for the land was very limited , both by the local plan planning constraints and by the buy back option in the deal. The absence of an identifiable property upside at the time is perhaps been pretty well confirmed by the reality that ten years on, the site itself and its surroundings remain firmly green belt. I don't think an accusation of asset stripping at the time can be supported by the known facts - in fact the opposite. The deal provided much needed funds to a financially distressed club with substantial down side for the investors if that club failed (there was no obvious alternative use and hence no alternative rental income) and very limited upside as the buy back option prevented the investors from benefitting from any property upside if that existed.

    Ten years is a long time and the situation has inevitably changed. I don't know if the planning environment for the site will change in the foreseeable future. My guess is no, but I might well be wrong. So it is possible (if perhaps unlikely) that the investors may in fact get the opportunity of an unexpected profit on selling the land. Unless the now existing lease between club and investors is long and unbreakable by the investors or unless the lease is protected by the Landlord and Tenants Act (unlikely) , there seems no obvious way the club could prevent the lands sale without its consent and hence share in the proceeds by right.

    The facts of club ownership have also changed. At the time of land sale the club was owned by its fans and financially struggling. In that situation if the land suddenly became worth a substantial amount, I think it would be reasonable to hope that the investors would allow the football club to share in the profit in the land on sale even if, as seems to be the case, it had no legal rights to. The club is however now owned by a private reasonably affluent American owner and feels likely to soon be at least part owned by an extremely rich Georgian businessman. IF the training ground land now acquires substantial realisable value and its now owners now had a choice between keeping the proceeds themselves or donating it to a company owned and funded by a Georgian billionaire, I have to say if I was the investor I would keep the money myself or at least donate it to a more worthy cause.

  • A slight diversion but I see Maidenhead United Chairman Peter Griffin has just put out an open letter to supporters setting out the club’s plans following the council’s rejection of their planned new stadium in Braywick Park. It included the following….maybe in a much unexpected twist they’re now gonna buy Bearwood Park?

    “Exploring the potential for delivering a new club training venue/hub outside of Maidenhead Town Centre, which will be dependant upon identifying a site locally where we can be confident planning can be achieved to build floodlit astro turfs and associated facilities.”

  • Whilst the film industry is currently subdued there is a huge demand in the UK. And this studio is just one of a handful in the Thames Valley being built.

    Right across the road from our training ground. When the training ground was built apart from the Hayes Megadome there was no chance any of the green fields would be built on.

  • Why shouldn’t Rob be telling the whole truth? Not a good look @DevC .

  • Oh mate. Couhig was making a PR statement as a means to an end. They are very rarely the whole truth.

  • That's cool.

  • edited March 24

    Reading back through this I’m not buying this lark that our training pitches are substandard, and yes I’m well aware injury prevention has moved on since the Holmer Green days. But Kian would have concerns, because basically it’s his job to. Better call the lads back off loan to those non league teams as their pitches can’t be up to scratch! About not being able to use them 25% of the time, agreed, due to a combination of 25 adults training on grass in England all week long on just 2 pitches. It’s just a matter of number of pitches if you ask me. We would hire Bisham Abbey if our pitches were that shit, it’s literally only a few miles as crow flies.

  • Love the faith in an owner, but it's surely unlikely we'll ever hear the "whole" truth about any given subject from a club chairman whoever they are!

  • I would suggest you address your points to either the manager, his medical team or the players who have been injured as a result of the inadequate pitches. You might hear a very different story.

  • edited March 25

    Under the previous regime's injury news blackout you always used to claim you knew no more about players' injuries than we did.

    Good to see you've dropped that pretence

  • I know you take pleasure from your little snipes but can we keep it factual? The view that our training pitches have led to (unidentified) players being injured has been referenced many times on here and is hardly comparable to wanting to know which players are injured, what the injury is and how long their recovery will take.

  • What's an injury new blackout?

  • Edited

  • Somebody with £26 million I suspect.

  • At last! We have reached a point where I did not really expect to reach. However, there is still a long way to go yet, plenty of time for Dai to pull out, but I am keeping my fingers crossed for it to workout alright.

  • Talk Sport mentioning Dai claiming the deal (to a buyer who won’t be announced till it’s done) is going to take a couple of months. That all sounds at best vague at worst dodgy. If ‘a week is a long time in politics’ this feels like a lot could happen between now and then.

  • Thanks Vital.

    ELF rules now forbid the disclosure of information on the buyer, I believe. I hope the two months include the EFL's checking out the buyer's ability to run the club for at least two years. But (and it's a BIG BUT) as you say a lot could happen in that time, It would not surprise me for Dai to move the goalposts once again and another buyer pulls out.

  • Sadly there is still plenty of time for Yongge to cost Reading more points & even put them into administration; I sincerely hope that this is not how it works out as I would not want to see Reading end up like Bury.

  • Come off it. This by the sounds of it is very murky indeed. How do you know that Lomtadze is not buying Reading on the cheap, selling off the training ground (to Wycombe, Newcastle or AC Milan) and the stadium and closing down Reading FC? Nothing to rejoice for Reading fans until the picture becomes clearer

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