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RamsTrust Applies For Pride Park Stadium And Moor Farm Training Ground To Be Registered As 'Assets Of Community Value'
Tuesday, October 15 2013

RamsTrust, the Supporters’ Trust for Derby County, announced today that  it has submitted a nomination to Derby City Council for the Pride Park Stadium,  and Erewash Borough Council for Moor Farm Training Centre, to be registered as  ‘Assets of Community Value’ under the Assets of Community Value Regulations of  the Localism Act (2011).

The listing of the Stadium as a ‘Community Asset’ by the Council would mean  that should the stadium’s current (or any future) owner wanted to sell it, the  Derby County Supporter community would have the opportunity to bid for it.

In its nomination to Derby City Council, the Trust set out a number of reasons why the Stadium qualifies as an Asset of Community Value, however the Trust feels the main benefits of obtaining the listing are:

  • Reducing the chance that, without prior notice to the Council and community, Derby County Football Club could move to another location.
  • Protecting the Stadium’s use as the venue for Derby County Football Club for current and future generations.
  • Ensuring it continues as a site for delivering social benefit and community value, through the continued hosting of Derby County matches and the associated community activities Derby County undertakes.

The Councils now have up to eight weeks to make their decisions whether  to list the Stadium & Training ground as Assets of Community Value. A successful listing would mean that, should the owner of either of the assets  wish to sell they will be required to notify the relevant Council and RamsTrust, who will then have six weeks to lodge a non-binding expression of interest, in  which case a window of opportunity of a further four and half months, (making  six months in total), will come into effect to delay the sale. The full  moratorium period exists to afford community interest groups sufficient time to  prepare and raise money to bid for the property, potentially in competition with  other interested parties.

Commenting on the application, RamsTrust Chairman, Jim Wheeler said “One of the greatest fears of any football fan is that the club they have supported all  their life is suddenly ripped from its traditional heartland and moved to  another location. It happened at Wimbledon in the past, numerous non-league  clubs and most recently at Coventry City. Such decisions ignore the most  important people at any club - its fans.”

“We would like to make it crystal clear that our application would have been submitted regardless of who the current owners of the stadium and training  ground were, and that the current ownership had no bearing on the decision”

“We have no reason to believe that GSE has plans to sell the stadium or club, however one day that time will come. Having experienced 3 changes of
club  ownership since the Trust was formed only 11 years ago, we believe listing the  stadium and training ground not only protects them, but also opens up a pathway  to dialogue with any new potential owners of the club and infrastructure, so we  can seek assurances on their plans.”

Supporters Direct - a society that is owned by its members' Supporters Trusts and Clubs, is advancing a campaign to have Football Club grounds designated as ACVs. RamsTrust is acting in unison with that campaign, as a  member of Supporters Direct.
Presently 14 club's premises are subject to  being ACVs; these include:
Manchester United's Old Trafford; Liverpool's  Anfield; Ipswich Town's Portman Road; Nuneaton Town's Liberty Way & Oxford  United's Kassam Stadium.
Other nominations are ongoing, and include  Leicester City's Kingpower Stadium & Birmingham City's St.Andrew's.

Eric Pickles, the Communities Secretary said he was “delighted” that Manchester United's Old Trafford premises has been listed, and went on to say:  “I look forward to other communities following this wonderful example.” RamsTrust's applications are in accord with those  views.

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