Writer: Chris Baldwin
Date:Friday December 21 2007
Stoke City have announced that they have finally completed the outright purchase of the Britannia Stadium in a £6m deal.
The stadium has been owned, since it was built in 1997, by a consortium consisting of the club, Stoke-on-Trent City Council and St. Modwen who have developed the land around the Brit which was formerly the site of Hem Heath Colliery.
The clubs' previous Icelandic owners had tried to buy out the other shareholders before, but the deal had not come to anything. When Peter Coates bought the club last year, he stated that one of his aims was for the club to take full control of the stadium.
This deal should bring some stability to the club in the long term as it provides a good financial asset and the club will be able to invest in the stadium knowing that it will get all the subsequent proceeds. In the past it had to share all the profits from the stadium operation - hospitality, catering and functions etc - with the other two shareholders.
The club has already hinted that it has grand plans to rejuvenate and modernise areas of the ground, which will include improved parking facilities within the land that the club now owns. How that can (or will) improve the lot of those who park on the South Car Park remains to be seen as that land is leased from St. Modwen and therefore not included in today's announcement.
The purchase of the Stadium is the second land deal to be completed recently. The club have already bought the training ground at the Michelin Sports Centre and have plans to build permanent buildings to provide changing rooms, gym and offices for use by the first team right down to the Academy.
Date:Friday December 21 2007
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