The developers building Brentford FC’s new stadium have stopped work because of the Coronavirus emergency. In an open letter to fans on the club’s website, published on Friday, Chief Executive Jon Varney and Chairman Cliff Crown wrote on behalf of the board:
‘Our new home at Lionel Road was due to achieve what is known as Practical Completion during April leaving the Club on track to complete our move in July 2020. Last week Buckingham Group, Stadium Principal Contractor to the developer, Eco World, had to take the serious, but prudent decision, to urgently pause the bulk of the works underway to allow time for the position to be assessed’.
Until recently more than 400 people were travelling to and from work on the stadium site each day. Just three weeks ago Brentford FC were preparing for a West London derby against Fulham and the final nine games of the season, including their Farewell Griffin Park celebrations. Things were looking very positive for the club, then the football authorities announced an indefinite suspension of the game and public gatherings were stopped. The players were no longer able to train as a group, the offices were closed and such staff as are able were asked to work from home, while others have been put on furlough.
Image above – Brentford FC current ground.
Players wages payment deferred
Premier League clubs are in talks with their players about taking pay cuts. At Brentford FC the Chairman and Chief Executive’s joint statement says:
‘Last week a conversation was initiated between a group of the senior players at Brentford FC and the Club management about how the players could support the Club as we face this challenge as one united team. The outcome of that and subsequent conversations was the First Team players have deferred a significant proportion of their wages until football is back and games are being played without restrictions’.
Captain, Pontus Jansson said:
“The players have been speaking about how we could show the Club our support through a difficult time. Our team spirit has been a big factor in our results this season, so I am very pleased that we, as a united squad, are able to show how much we appreciate being part of this Club.”
Supporting the NHS
The Chairman and Chief Executive’s joint statement continues:
‘The Mayor of London has asked us if we can make facilities and medical staff available to assist with the work being done to tackle the spread of the virus. We are in an open dialogue with the Mayor and local health authorities to see how we can help.
Tickets for next season
Two weeks ago, the club took the decision to move all Season Ticket renewal appointments to telephone calls or online. By 3 April they had sold more than 6,000 Season Tickets and a further 950 Premium Season Tickets in the area known as The Dugout. Once the club has completed selling to their existing Season Ticket holders, they are moving on to contacting their 6,000 Members followed by supporters on their 4,000-strong waiting list.
‘We are confident we will have a record number of Season Ticket holders when we move into our New Home’ the Chairman and CEO said.