- Dec 31, 2008
Firstly I would ask the mods not to move this to the FF forum as I believe it is more encompassing than that. I say Roots Hall chicken or Fossetts farm egg as i believe it is important to know which came first. I firmly believe and have stated many times that the move to FF is our only hope of salvation but it has also got me thinking. If FF was about building a new stadium and the retail park was extra to earn the developer a bob or two and to ensure finances for the club then that is well and good. But is it? The town council have made it abundantly clear that no retail application would be considered at FF unless a stadium is built. So the project there needs the football club. Roots Hall on the other hand has a covenant which stipulates the ground is for the playing of football in perpetuity. This clearly being interpreted as acceptable in terms of a swap to a new ground. We know that the development corp have purchased Roots Hall and the club 'per se' own nothing but are charged a high rent, a mounting debt, for the privilege of playing the football on the ground that is the right of the club to play on. I wonder truly if the club were prevented from playing by the owners whether that would constitute a breach of the covenant. Indeed, as the development corp are totally dependent on the football to achieve their bigger plans and bigger payday at FF should not the club have a bigger role to play in its own future. The club is for the fans and those of the borough that this land was promised to and yet manipulated by businessmen and councils alike. I feel the 'club' belongs to the said fans and borough residents and has the right to continue to play, at the ground, RH or FF, unimpeded and unpenalised. furthermore I think the 'club' should be put into the hands of a 'supporters trust' and assured of a reasonable percentage of income from any development that results from the allowed/agreed change of home ground. The development corp, who I have no axe to grind with, can make their bucks seeing through the plans they care most about and Southend United, its fans and the borough residents can have what surely is rightfully theirs. Do we have any legal beagles that can shed light upon how when a property is bought it can include the purchase of a covenant to dispose of or manipulate as seen fit? The land, the stadium are the property of the people of Southend in my view and its time we did something constructive to ensure its return to the people of Southend.