Plymouth will get new stadium regardless of World Cup decision
Thu 16th Sep 2010 | Football Stadiums & Facilities
Plymouth Argyle Football Club will get its new £50million stadium whether or not Plymouth succeeds in its bid to become a host city for the 2018 World Cup, a club director has pledged.
However, the club’s executive director Keith Todd admits sorting out the club's finances is proving a much harder task than he expected.
Speaking to This is Plymouth, Todd said the aim of separating the stadium from the football club was to set up a structure to raise £50million for the new, enlarged Home Park.
The club will have a priority right to play in the stadium, currently used only for 23 home league games and a handful of home cup games each season, and benefit from additional events held at Home Park, whose new playing surface is designed to take extra wear and tear.
He said: The primary impact of the World Cup is on the timing of phases of building. We are planning to start Phase 1 as early as possible next year, but subsequent phases will depend on the success of the stadium as a venue, and the success of the club."
He added: "The club will also not have to find the capital to build the new stadium. The aim is to have a debt-free club, although that may not be immediate, and then operate the club within its means."
Mr Todd, an Argyle supporter since he was a pupil at Hyde Park Junior School, said he was surprised that majority shareholder Yasuaki Kagami had still not attended a home game, though he followed Argyle's results each week.
"We need to correct this and get Kagami and his family over," he said.
He was also candid about the financial headaches which accompanied relegation last season.
"There is no question we have to provide the best opportunity to bounce straight back to the Championship whilst trying to ensure that the club is financially stabilised," he said.
"I totally under-estimated how difficult it is to get the finances sorted.
"Cost-cutting is not straightforward because of the nature of players' fixed-term contracts, and revenue generation is directly tied to performance .
"So with poor results, income goes down but costs don't very easily."
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