Coventry & Warwickshire

Nuneaton football fans bid to save Liberty Way stadium

Nuneaton Town football club supporters are applying for its ground to be registered as a "community asset".

If approved, the supporters' co-operative group would be notified if the ground is put up for sale and they are given a right to bid.

The Liberty Way stadium owner, Ian Neale Construction Group Limited, recently went into liquidation, but the supporters applied before this.

Oxford United fans were first to protect a stadium as a community asset.

To get the status, the group has to apply to the local authority, Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council.

'Everything hunky dory'

John Hobson, from the Nuneaton Town Supporters’ Co-operative, said: "We first applied before any of this [liquidation] came to light.

"Under the legislation we have the right to bid, which is different from the right to buy, and we would then have six weeks to confirm our interest in acquiring the stadium and a further 20 weeks to raise the money required."

He added: "We were doing it as a matter of course because the legislation was there.... It was something we were just doing and then this blew up really."

Mr Hobson said the stadium owners had assured him everything was "hunky dory" with the club and they had no debt.

He added: "We wouldn't want to stand in the way of anybody coming into the club, any investors who wanted the ground and were able to give the club a sustainable future."

A statement from the liquidators BRI said fans, players and other stakeholders "should not be unduly concerned".

It said: "The joint liquidators are currently acting as landlords of the stadium which is leased to Nuneaton Town Football Club on a 10-year lease of which eight years remain.

"Fans, players and other stakeholders should not be unduly concerned as it is intended that the lease will continue to operate as normal and that there will be no evident change to Nuneaton Town Football Club."

The club finished 15th in the Blue Square Bet Premier this season.

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