AFC Wimbledon In Talks To Sell Kingsmeadow To Chelsea

Sale would help fund move back to Plough Lane

AFC Wimbledon are in talks with Chelsea over the sale of Kingsmeadow to help fund their move to a new stadium in Plough Lane.

The club wants to build a 20,000 capacity stadium, with an initial 11,000 seats. Along with partner Galliard Homes, it plans shops, a squash and fitness club, 602 homes with basement parking, 297 car parking spaces and cycle parking.

The existing Wimbledon Stadium in Plough Lane would be demolished as part of the scheme, which would be completed in phases.

Now the Dons Trust, owners of Wimbledon, have confirmed that they are in talks with Premier League club Chelsea over the future of their current home, Kingsmeadow.

It is understood Chelsea are considering buying the Kingston ground to use as a home venue for their youth and women's teams.

Wimbledon bought the ground from Anup and Rajesh Khosla in 2003, and the Ryman Premier League team now rent the ground as Wimbledon's tenants.

Kingstonian say they are now considering leaving Kingsmeadow and finding a stadium better suited to their needs. A search for a new stadium is already underway, and it is understood Wimbledon will help them with a significant contribution towards the cost.

The Dons Trust have released the following statement: "The Dons Trust, owners of AFC Wimbledon, can confirm that the club has been in discussions with a number of organisations, including Chelsea Football Club, over the future of Kingsmeadow, should our club's proposal to move to a new stadium in Wimbledon be approved by Merton Council.

"These discussions are confidential and each proposal is being thoroughly evaluated to ensure it provides the best outcome for the area and the club. Kingston Borough Council and Kingstonian FC, of course, have been briefed about the discussions.

"Any change of ownership of Kingsmeadow is a Restricted Action, which requires approval by the membership of The Dons Trust before it can be completed. In the event that The Dons Trust Board believes that acceptable terms have been negotiated, then these will be presented to the membership for their consideration. Until then we cannot comment any further."

The Board of Kingstonian said: "After much long and careful thought, Ks board have come to the conclusion that the best long-term interests of our club would be served by us taking the opportunity to leave Kingsmeadow.

"Our search for a new facility is well underway and progress has been made. The identity of possible new locations for Ks must remain confidential as speculation would inevitably undermine this process."

  • Merton Council is taking comments on AFC Wimbledon's Plough Lane plan until January 7.

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December 30, 2014