Adam Bird

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Thursday, 2 April 2009

The Continuing Bewilderment of Ebbsfleet United

Drawing up plans

According to the Gravesend Messenger Ebbsfleet United, whom changed their name last year in an effort to forge links with the new community in Ebbsfleet have revealed plans for a new stadium... in Gravesend!

The new site, next to Morrisons inbetween the new and old A2, will see the new stadium form part of a larger eco-recreational site, which will have walking areas, playgrounds, a BMX track and horse trails.

How realistic the plans are only time will tell, but from my knowledge planning permission for moving over the A2 was only granted on the condition that the new space would be used not be used for commercial or residential purposes. Does a football stadium fall under a leisure enterprise thus making them eligible for development? Time will tell.

Now for the rant! Gravesend and Northfleet FC changed their name to Ebbsfleet United so that they could forge stronger links with the "new community" expecting to increase their fanbase on the back of a migration of plastic supporters. Only 2 years later they want to move away from Ebbsfleet and into Gravesend, whose name they discarded in the name of commercialism a short time ago. Not only that, they expect the local (Gravesham) council to back them all the way!

Surely with them snuggling up so nicely with Land Securities, Eurostar and the people behind the Ebbsfleet development the planners are able to find them a small area in which to build a stadium upon?

These are very, very early days, and this is just a reaction to a single news story, which hasn't been officially confirmed by the club. Ebbsfleet Utd are in dire straits at the moment facing a relegation battle from the conference and struggling to deal with the whole "My Football Club" ownership (I told you so?). Whether they can finance a new stadium project is far from reality.

A lot has happened to Gravesend and Northfleet (RIP) over the past few years, most of it terribly sad, it's a shame, as they were always a well run, well supported local non-league side with a bigger plan.

If a new stadium is built in Morrisons back garden, within the Gravesend boundary will they change their name back? The way the people who run the club the last few years, it wouldn't surprise me!
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