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Ebbsfleet United vice chairman Peter Varney says club open to move to new stadium in 15,000 home garden city if 'the right development for the club'

28 March 2014
by Chris Price

The vice chairman of Ebbsfleet United says he would be open to moving the football club to a new stadium in a new garden city if it was “the right development for the club”.

Peter Varney made the comments in response to plans for 15,000 homes in the Ebbsfleet Valley announced by Chancellor George Osborne earlier this month.

Mr Varney is also chief executive of KEH Sports Ltd, the Kuwaiti company which owns Ebbsfleet, whose majority shareholder is club chairman Dr Abdulla Al-Humaidi.

Ebbsfleet United vice chairman Peter Varney

Ebbsfleet United vice chairman Peter Varney

Asked if he would consider moving the club to the heart of a new 15,000 home garden city, Mr Varney said: “You never say no to anything do you?

“It depends on what the case is for it really and what the size of it is.

“If you say to me tomorrow they are building a 40,000 all-seater stadium down the road, and you’ve got 1,100 fans, they would be lost in it.

“It has got to be the right development for the club.”

At present Ebbsfleet United would not be able to move up to the Football League which requires a capacity of 6,000.

The club’s homeground Stonebridge Road has a capacity of 5,011, with only 500 seated, but former Charlton Atheltic vice chairman Mr Varney says the site can be extended.

He said: “This could be developed to meet the football league requirements without a doubt but it would be Stevenage-type of size [a capacity of 6,722].

“We could do that but you have got to look at the cost of that and the cost of redevelopment here, as opposed to the potential for whatever other possibilities might be out there as Ebbsfleet grows.

“That is down the line. We don’t know what those other possibilities are.”

He added: “When I first went to Charlton in 1997, the capacity was about 12,000 and as the success came so the stands got built and now the capacity is 27,111.

“It all has to dovetail in nicely so as you get more successful you build better facilities that attract other audiences.”

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