Guildford City Football Club have been advised by senior council directors that there is no possibility of a new football ground forming part of the Slyfield Area Regeneration Project. However, the council have once again pledged their support for the club.
In a meeting with directors and managers from Guildford Borough Council to discuss the future of the club, it was revealed by Strategic Director Jim Miles that there were no plans for inclusion of a football ground at Slyfield due to a greater need for new housing. It’s not all bad news for the club, however, as acting Chairman Chris Pegman explains. “Obviously we’re disappointed that Slyfield is a no go but we have to draw a line under two years of effort and move on. The good news is that the meeting marked a change in the relationship between Guildford Borough Council and the club. We have started to develop an understanding with the council and we thank them for their intention to help us in the future. Without the Slyfield option, the pressure is on for us to find a new home but we are glad that the council have stated they are on our side.”
Guildford City have been desperate to relocate from their inadequate base at the Spectrum Leisure Centre for years, but there is a light on the horizon. “There’s a new dialogue open between the council and ourselves and they have already suggested some possible sites for us to investigate,” comments Pegman. “We also had positive discussions about the future funding of the club but we acknowledge that there are more important things for their money to be spent on at the moment!”
It has been a long summer for the club after promotion was unfairly declined on a ground grading technicality, but hopes are high that the club can repeat the feat having retained most of the championship winning squad. Pegman summarises the club’s situation, “it’s a balancing act between aiming for promotion short term and looking for a permanent base in the long term. There’s a high degree of crossover with those two targets and behind the scenes we’ve put in a lot of time, and money, to pursue them. That effort is starting to pay off and we’re looking forward to working with the council to take the club up to the next level.”