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GregyScotland

Stadium and training ground back on agenda

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Interesting piece on BBC today with comments from Burrows. Now the major challenge of the debt has been overcome it seems club infrastructure is back on the agenda. Just wondering if a complete move is necessary given the fairly large recent investments that have been made in Fir Park with the pitch, re-roofing the east stand etc. Starting to think we should continue on with making modest improvements as finance allows rather than going for something more ambitious. 

Quote

 

"Burrows has revealed one of the options that may now be explored is the possibility of moving away from the club's home at Fir Park.

The Lanarkshire club have resided on the site since 1895 but must consider the costs of maintaining a stadium that was largely redeveloped in the mid 1990s.

"I think everything has to be on the table," Burrows said. "We have got to look to always try our best to keep up with modern standards, both in terms of training ground and a stadium.

"From my own point of view, I have been working within the ground for a long period of time. We are now in 2019 and the stadium probably has to be a debate and a question that is put on the agenda quite high in the not too distant future. A training ground goes without saying."

 

Full article: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/amp/football/50273546?__twitter_impression=true&fbclid=IwAR2Smqd-BmBaIT0GiC61EcT_pkxiw_mec1yIg2HTZzZ8kIhTkhJY_TmXI7w

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I will be absolutely devastated if we ever leave Fir Park for an identikit stadium. For all its faults, it has character in abundance. I love grounds with quirks, such as the section of the main stand that was never built.

There's a limit to what could be done with the East Stand given the restricted space, however is there scope to redevelop the main, which is the oldest part of the ground anyway?

However, I guess the club might want to cash in and sell the ground for housing :(

 

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I would hate to see the stadium move away from where it is just now but what would the options be ? I don’t know Motherwell too well living in Kirkintilloch. Is there ground within the town to build a new stadium ? Surely rebuilding with a new main stand would be the best option, something along the lines of the Falkirk main stand. Not sure how much they could do with the Hunter stand though given the space. The stands at both ends are surely fine. As above I would hate a boring new build along the lines of St Mirren.

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For me a move to a purpose built stadium with modern facilities,  car parking etc, etc would not be the worst thing in the world, as long as it was a decent design, all enclosed like Almondvale only better.

As much as Fir park has character there is a lot wrong with it, so a new stadium would be no doubt cheaper to run and maintain. so I think the club has to look at a move as an option

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Replacing the main stand somehow would be my preferred option, but the reality is that in the market we work in we’re handicapping ourselves with the growing costs of keeping fir park going.

The ravenscraig area seems like the only feasible option, which would be shite. Maybe we can do the training facilities bit first and talk about the stadium another time.

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Yeah, obviously it would be a wrench to leave, but it has a limited lifespan, particularly given planning permission/restrictions etc due to neighbouring  premises

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11 minutes ago, Spiderpig said:

For me a move to a purpose built stadium with modern facilities,  car parking etc, etc would not be the worst thing in the world, as long as it was a decent design, all enclosed like Almondvale only better.

As much as Fir park has character there is a lot wrong with it, so a new stadium would be no doubt cheaper to run and maintain. so I think the club has to look at a move as an option

The main stand is absolutely gubbed at the end of the day and needs replaced. We've all been on away days to St Mirren and McDiarmid which are out of town with all the car parking and they are bloody murder to try and get away from after a game never mind if your after a pre and post match swally. Fir Park empties well, the traffic moves reasonably well afterwards all things considered and two ends are fine. The atmosphere is also no the worst when it gets going. (and I emphasise the word when). I would rather we invested at home and stayed.

 

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We redo the pitch every year for a reason. There is shit drainage underneath the pitch. All the water runs into the main stand often causing flooding on really bad winters. If you ask anyone who has worked on our park we built this pitch on the foundations of the old pitch which still has old piping all over it. Therefore the groundsmen are fighting a losing battle and have to relay every year. Grass needs a good base level to seed the pitch properly,and we do not go far enough down to lay that base level with all the drainage, undersoil heating and sprinkler system competing for space with the old drainage and sprinkler system. It would cost a ridiculous amount of money to dig down and remove all that stuff and that wont just take a close season. The office space is old and dated. The whole stadium also needs to be ripped back to a shell and completely rewired. We have patched up almost everything we can. I have no doubt we all love our stadium but the costs will only continue to spiral until its not cost effective to live there anymore and I dare say we are reaching the tipping point. The points about its close to somewhere to have a pint is a very limited argument when we are literally patching the stadium up every year costing us money we could be better used on improving the squad, more coaches, physios, better scouting system, investment in our youth system.

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8 minutes ago, GregyScotland said:

The main stand is absolutely gubbed at the end of the day and needs replaced. We've all been on away days to St Mirren and McDiarmid which are out of town with all the car parking and they are bloody murder to try and get away from after a game never mind if your after a pre and post match swally. Fir Park empties well, the traffic moves reasonably well afterwards all things considered and two ends are fine. The atmosphere is also no the worst when it gets going. (and I emphasise the word when). I would rather we invested at home and stayed.

 

Car parking at Fir Park is an absolute doddle for sure, it’s way better than any out of town stadium where you are queuing for everyone get out. There are options to go for a drink, and it’s got decent rail links. Out of town stadiums are a huge risk with many supporters not willing to travel. If we move if needs to be somewhere within the town.

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The only place is Ravenscraig if were looking at a new Stadium. Pretty decent traffic links if done well, but would have to be done as part of a bigger project unlike Falkirk/St Johnstone. 

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8 minutes ago, Well Well said:

We redo the pitch every year for a reason. There is shit drainage underneath the pitch. All the water runs into the main stand often causing flooding on really bad winters. If you ask anyone who has worked on our park we built this pitch on the foundations of the old pitch which still has old piping all over it. Therefore the groundsmen are fighting a losing battle and have to relay every year. Grass needs a good base level to seed the pitch properly,and we do not go far enough down to lay that base level with all the drainage, undersoil heating and sprinkler system competing for space with the old drainage and sprinkler system. It would cost a ridiculous amount of money to dig down and remove all that stuff and that wont just take a close season. The office space is old and dated. The whole stadium also needs to be ripped back to a shell and completely rewired. We have patched up almost everything we can. I have no doubt we all love our stadium but the costs will only continue to spiral until its not cost effective to live there anymore and I dare say we are reaching the tipping point.

I was under the impression we had finally nailed the pitch.

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12 minutes ago, GregyScotland said:

I was under the impression we had finally nailed the pitch.

Paul Matthew is working wonders on the pitch (How long can we keep him before he moves on considering the work he has done) but we could do with maintaining what we have rather than replacing every year. The reason we cant is as I have already mentioned. Dig down and you come across redundant pipes, sprinklers and a solid foundation from the old pitch thats incredibly hard to break down without digging it all up to ensure the pitch can be properly maintained. Plus if you dig up the surface every year the grass does not have time to knit together and secure its roots to around 12 inches. Replacing the pitch is just a band aid. Don't even get me started on our drainage.

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11 minutes ago, Well Well said:

Paul Matthew is working wonders on the pitch (How long can we keep him before he moves on considering the work he has done) but we could do with maintaining what we have rather than replacing every year. The reason we cant is as I have already mentioned. Dig down and you come across redundant pipes, sprinklers and a solid foundation from the old pitch thats incredibly hard to break down without digging it all up to ensure the pitch can be properly maintained. Plus if you dig up the surface every year the grass does not have time to knit together and secure its roots to around 12 inches. Replacing the pitch is just a band aid. Don't even get me started on our drainage.

When he did his interviews at the start of the process, he did say that the work we do now has a shorter term remedial component, which means the long term plan is that we will need much less work on the pitch in the summer.

As for a new stadium - no thanks. We can't afford anything more than a square lego-and-tin effort with uncomfortable plastic seats and no leg room (and a tenner to park).

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3 minutes ago, weeyin said:

When he did his interviews at the start of the process, he did say that the work we do now has a shorter term remedial component, which means the long term plan is that we will need much less work on the pitch in the summer.

Of course he will not come out and say we need to invest millions on the park in his interview. No one would but  it needs a lot more long term work than anyone at the club is happy to admit to. He is a great groundsman and would be a big loss to the club if he was poached. Much like the manager he must have his admirers from other clubs.

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1 minute ago, Well Well said:

Of course he will not come out and say we need to invest millions on the park in his interview. No one would but  it needs a lot more long term work than anyone at the club is happy to admit to. He is a great groundsman and would be a big loss to the club if he was poached. Much like the manager he must have his admirers from other clubs.

There's not a new ground in Scotland that has a better pitch than ours, so at best, if we spent millions moving to a new stadium, we'd get something not quite as good (and who knows if it would be free from any major problems if we ended up digging up an old steelworks.

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7 minutes ago, weeyin said:

There's not a new ground in Scotland that has a better pitch than ours, so at best, if we spent millions moving to a new stadium, we'd get something not quite as good (and who knows if it would be free from any major problems if we ended up digging up an old steelworks.

You miss the point. We have the best pitch because we rip it up every year at what cost to a fan run club? Also that's jus the pitch the stadium is a patchwork job everywhere and badly needs proper investment. I would prefer to stay right where we are and rip it back to a shell including the pitch. Groundshare for a season and reap the benefits of a new stadium exactly where we are. However that will again all come down to cost. It doesnt factor in a training area that maybe would come with a new stadium elsewhere

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7 minutes ago, weeyin said:

When he did his interviews at the start of the process, he did say that the work we do now has a shorter term remedial component, which means the long term plan is that we will need much less work on the pitch in the summer.

As for a new stadium - no thanks. We can't afford anything more than a square lego-and-tin effort with uncomfortable plastic seats and no leg room (and a tenner to park).

Hmmm, in what way will the seats (the exact same seats we have at Fir Park seeing as we get them from a natiinal supplier) be more uncomfortable?  And as for Leg Room, Im pretty sure new Stadium standards give more legroom than a converted Terrace! And where charges you a tenner to park? Ive parked at McDairmid, Caley & Victoria Park and never paid more than 3 quid, reasonable for parking at the stadium Id suggest?

I love the arguments that always come out when this subject arises. "Soulless" "Legoland" "Tin Shed" "Breezeblock" etc. Do You guys actually think Richer clubs build stadiums out of Diamonds & Gold? Soul and atmosphere is brought by the fans inside! Not because a rich club can put ETFE Cladding on their Main Stand or build an on site Micro Brewery! 

A Good Quality Pitch, as Much Hospitality as we can fit in, Steep Sided Sands close to the Pitch, good Parking & Access. Thats all we need and that is achieveable. The rest is up to us as Fans! The only thing I feel we would need as I mentioned earlier is some additional on site facilities like a couple of bars and a restaurant or two to keep fans in the area for longer on match days. 

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Wonder how much replacing the main stand , East stand, and digging up the pitch, would compare to building a new stadium.

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14 minutes ago, Yorkyred said:

Wonder how much replacing the main stand , East stand, and digging up the pitch, would compare to building a new stadium.

Easily as much as a brand new stadium! And You wouldnt be able to extend the Main Stand much due to planning, so You'd be looking at a big empty corner still. Plus, look at the Cooper & South stands, they are looking tired as well. The roof metalwork on both is rusted to fuck

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Neither choice is great - and that's the problem. Even if we sold Fir Park and managed to get council support, we'd be lucky to raise enough money to build a St Mirren Park style stadium.

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I'm not sure I really buy into the whole maintenance cost angle at least in the long term.

If you go to Fir Park or travel around the country you'll see that the Taylor report era stands that were built in the 1990s are not in the greatest nick.  That suggests you have maybe a new stadium life time of about 25-30 years before you get back to square one.  And it's not like new stadiums don't have any maintenance costs either, even if they are reduced you have to factor in the redevelopment costs along with rising maintenance costs over two or three decades and then what do you do in 2050?  Build another stadium? Redevelop the existing one?  It's a repeating cycle and I think it's even debatable if we would have paid off the debt of building a stadium over the sort of time period.

However my main objection is that Fir Park is Motherwell FC's spiritual home and if you take that away, for me anyway, you don't have the spirit any more. 

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Was there not plans for a training facility at the bottom end of Muirhouse a few years back? It would be interesting to see/ hear what happened with them

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We redo the pitch every year for a reason. There is shit drainage underneath the pitch. All the water runs into the main stand often causing flooding on really bad winters. If you ask anyone who has worked on our park we built this pitch on the foundations of the old pitch which still has old piping all over it. Therefore the groundsmen are fighting a losing battle and have to relay every year. Grass needs a good base level to seed the pitch properly,and we do not go far enough down to lay that base level with all the drainage, undersoil heating and sprinkler system competing for space with the old drainage and sprinkler system. It would cost a ridiculous amount of money to dig down and remove all that stuff and that wont just take a close season. The office space is old and dated. The whole stadium also needs to be ripped back to a shell and completely rewired. We have patched up almost everything we can. I have no doubt we all love our stadium but the costs will only continue to spiral until its not cost effective to live there anymore and I dare say we are reaching the tipping point. The points about its close to somewhere to have a pint is a very limited argument when we are literally patching the stadium up every year costing us money we could be better used on improving the squad, more coaches, physios, better scouting system, investment in our youth system.

Because moving to the ravenscraig where the ground is contaminated sounds like a great way to fix the pitch


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2 hours ago, si91 said:

Was there not plans for a training facility at the bottom end of Muirhouse a few years back? It would be interesting to see/ hear what happened with them

I think that was the community trust who were going to do that I also think they tried to buy the pitches at Colville Park don't know what happened on both fronts 

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