The Dons Trust, the owner of AFC Wimbledon, has announced that contracts have been exchanged for the sale of Kingsmeadow stadium to Chelsea FC.
This is an important next step in the club’s plans to move to a new stadium in Wimbledon. The funds raised by the sale of Kingsmeadow represent a significant contribution towards the cost of the new stadium.
Although contracts have been exchanged, the deal will not become final until a number of conditions have been met, including obtaining final planning permission for the stadium in Plough Lane, and the transfer of the land on which the stadium will be built.
Erik Samuelson, Chief Executive of AFC Wimbledon, said: “This is a major milestone for us. The proceeds of this deal are an essential part of the financing of the new stadium. The vision of a return to Merton, with all the community benefits it also brings, is now becoming very real.”
As previously announced, the club is making a substantial donation to Kingstonian, which will help them to secure their future at another ground in or around Kingston.
Kingstonian Joint Chairman Malcolm Winwright said: “This is more positive news for all concerned in the process of AFC Wimbledon returning to Merton. We continue to enjoy a full and open relationship with Erik and his board, together with David Growns and other members of the Dons Trust Board, who continue to assist us on a number of fronts.”
Kevin Davis, the leader of Kingston Council, welcomed the news and he said: “For 14 years Kingston has been the home of AFC Wimbledon and whilst it is always sad to say ‘goodbye’ we understand the emotional lure of returning to Plough Lane.
“Now we must turn to the future of Kingsmeadow with Chelsea as well as find a new home for Kingstonian. The Council has been working with Kingstonian to help to secure a sustainable future in this borough and the substantial contribution from Wimbledon will be of significant help in doing so.”