HOPES a mystery developer would build a brand new football ground in Winsford appear dead in the water.
Campaigners facing the task of raising more than £500,000 to renovate the dilapidated Barton Stadium thought they had been thrown a lifeline when Vale Royal mayor and former Winsford United chairman Malcolm Gaskill initiated talks over a possible new ground at Meadow Bank.
It was suggested the developer could bulldoze the existing stadium and build houses on the site, and create a new “Conference standard” home for the club on land off Bradford Road.
But United director Alan Johnson said it now looks like a non-starter. “It was worth investigating and it’s generated a lot of interest,” he said. “But it’s not happening.”
Cllr Gaskill, who was Winsford United chairman from 1989-92, said the company involved decided the proposals, based on a similar blueprint produced in the early 2000s, were not financially viable “now or in the foreseeable future”.
However, Vale Royal’s head of leisure services, Chris Bottomley has mooted the possibility of United moving to upgraded facilities at Knights Grange and the council assuming control of the 4.5 acres of land on which the Barton Stadium is located.
Mr Johnson: “Winsford United wants to be part of the solution to the further development of the town, we don’t want to be a problem.
“As long as our interests are safeguarded we are prepared to listen to whatever options are on the table. But we can’t sit around indefinitely while our ground falls down around us.”
A meeting will be held at the ground on Tuesday night for club stakeholders to discuss the options available.