Boston United have taken important steps to ensure their proposed Quadrant stadium could never be sold off from under the club’s nose.
Chairman David Newton has announced that he and vice-chairman Neil Kempster have created a community interest company that will control the new ground, and adjacent sporting facilities, if planning permission is granted.
“When we took over, I was clear in what I said. We want to leave the club in a new stadium and the club at the heart of the community,” said Newton.
“There’s now an opportunity to engage with people and try to sort out a future for the football club.
“The stadium will be secured anyway because it will be owned under a community interest company that’s already been set up.
“That’s a quasi-charity, so that means it will be held as an asset for the community, so nothing can happen to it.”
Over the years, many football clubs have fallen foul of asset stripping owners looking to sell off stadiums and facilities to the highest bidder.
But Newton and Kempster are adamant they would not let this happen to the Pilgrims.
The chairman added: “The stadium will be held by the interest company and let to Boston United.
“If anything should happen in the future - if somebody came in and ruined the football club - then the stadium stays there. From that another club can be formed.
“If Boston United went, there’d be no stadium left (at present, due to the current site being owned by the Malkinson family, rather than the club). Once a ground is held by a community trust the rules apply and it becomes an asset of the community - nobody can get their hands on it. It can’t go into private hands.”
Newton, speaking at Thursday’s fans’ forum, admitted that he and Kempster will one day look to take a step back from running the football club.
But they are determined not to do so until they have helped secure the Pilgrims’ future through the Quadrant development.
Newton also voiced his opinion that the club should be passed on - not to an outside buyer, but instead to its supporters.
In making his statement, the chairman revealed he has recently been in talks with the Boston United Supporters’ Association about doing such a thing.
“When Neil and I commit to something we see it as our job to see it through,” he continued. “We’ve worked hard over the past few years and kept our heads down.
“We’ve tried to keep people informed. It’s our responsibility to sort the football club out as that was our job to do.
“But now is the time for the fans to step forward. We don’t want to be here forever. We want the football club to be owned by he fans.
“We see BUSA as a good vehicle to start getting support as we move forward. I was delighted they stepped forward.”
BUSA chairman Glenn Chapman has called on more fans to join the association.
He believes that strength in numbers would give their causes more kudos.
A show of support - not only for the Quadrant plans, but also in the long-term - would put BUSA in a stronger position to one day take on the club.
He said: “More members wouldn’t go amiss at this time.
“I would obviously say it would be a show of strength.
“The more support we get the better it will be - both for getting this development plan through and also for the future of the club.”