BROWNE ON THE BALL: Would it be new home, sweet home for Boston United?

Would a stadium move suit Boston United?
Would a stadium move suit Boston United?

Watching Bournemouth and Swansea becoming the neutrals’ favourites in the Premier League this season won’t be lost on Boston United fans.

Of course, it was not that long ago - 13 years to be precise - that the Cherries, the Swans and the Pilgrims were actually League Two rivals, rather than separated by five tiers.

Hull City, who dropped out of the Premier League at the end of last season, were also in that division back in the 2002-03 campaign.

And United more than held their own against their rivals.

Although Bournemouth were promoted through the play-offs, United (who began the campaign with a four point deduction) managed to finish in 15th, five points and two places below the Tigers.

Swansea, meanwhile, were a shadow of today’s squad, where players such as Bafetimbi Gomis and Andre Ayew both netted in a recent 2-1 victory over Manchester United.

Back then they finished in 21st, avoiding the drop into non-league football by a solitary point.

Of course, United and those three other clubs have gone their separate ways since that campaign.

While financial mismanagement saw United eventually drop down the pyramid, the other three have flourished.

It would be too simplistic to put forward a single reason why all these three have since climbed the footballing ladder.

But the fact that these teams have invested in stadia must play some important part.

The Swans have swapped the Vetch Field for the Liberty Stadium and Hull’s KC Stadium is a significant improvement on Boothferry Park.

Bournemouth haven’t moved from Dean Court, but they have completed the ground, which used to have nothing more than a wooden fence behind one goal.

New stadiums can bring renewed interest from lapsed supporters keen to see what the fuss is all about.

They can also accommodate more paying fans, more corporate cash and more income from non-matchday events... if you get it right.

These incentives are very much among the reasons why United are currently looking to move to the Quadrant.

Last month it was announced that work on the new ground was being put back until next year as chairman David Newton and his team look to secure additional funding.

The likes of Hull and Swansea, plus Shrewsbury Town - who finished bottom of the Football League in 2003 but now compete in League One after moving to the New Meadow - are evidence that managing your new facilities correctly can play a part in a resurgence.

So the news that United aren’t in a rush to stick the spade in the soil shouldn’t be greeted with any fear, rather a hope of the club looking to get the best facilities it can for itself.

I’m not going to get carried away and suggest this will mean a future in the top flight.

But a healthier bank balance and the capabilities of competing at a higher level would be far better than hurrying into a rushed home.