Fans have been left unhappy after finding out that Maidenhead United are considering a potential move to a new stadium.
The club announced intentions to leave their current home York Road, which is believed by the FA to be the oldest senior football ground continually used by the same club.
Maidenhead played their first game at the ground on February 16, 1871, but fast forward to present day and now they’re boasting healthy regular crowds following promotion to the National League in 2017, they look to reignite plans to consider a relocation, something they previously tried to do but a suitable site could not be found.
Maidenhead United have now asked the Royal Borough to agree to the principle of the club relocating to Braywick.
This request will be considered by the council at the end of the year.
The club statement said: “Maidenhead United Football Club can confirm that we are currently working with the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead to explore the potential for the relocation of the club’s ground to Braywick Park in Maidenhead.
“The club has made significant progress over the last few years, both on and off the pitch. We are now one of the largest and most successful community sports club in the Thames Valley. Our men’s and women’s first teams are playing at the highest level in the club’s modern history and match day attendances are regularly over 1,500. We have a further 42 Junior, Academy & Walking Football teams with over 500 playing members. We deliver an extensive range of health, wellbeing and education focussed activities though our Magpies in the Community programme, with over 2,500 children, young people and adults regularly participating in activities delivered by the club.
“We continuously review our strategic development priorities, with the objective of ensuring we have clear plans in place to sustain the club’s continued success and growth. The need to improve quality and range of the club’s facilities is recognised as a key priority for the club, so that we can improve the match day experience for supporters and extend the range of community activities we offer.
“We have carefully considered the options available to club to realise the significant investment required to develop our facilities at York Road. In this context, it has been impossible to ignore the regeneration underway in Maidenhead town centre and the opportunity which could exist to realise the capital funding we need through the disposal of our York Road ground and the relocation of the club to a suitable alternative location.
“The club has previously considered relocation. However, this has never come to fruition because a suitable alternative location could not be identified. As a town centre club, we have always been clear that in order to move, we would need to identify a similar town centre location with equivalent walking, cycling, bus, rail and road links to those York Road benefits from.
“Having reviewed the relocation options available to the club, we concluded that Braywick Park, as the town’s existing sport and recreation hub, would be the most suitable location to move to. Over the past few months, we have been discussing this idea with the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead and with various sports clubs already located at Braywick. These discussions have been positive, confirming it could be feasible for a new community football stadium, owned by the Trustees of the ground and incorporating additional sports facilities for the benefit of other sports clubs, to be constructed at Braywick Park.
“We have now asked the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead to agree to the principle of the club relocating to Braywick, which will be considered by the Council by the end of this year.”
So, after reading the club statement, majority of fans voiced their anger at the idea of leaving York Road, though some agreed with the decision to move – see what they said on the next page.