UK time is: 16:38:24
Vital Login
Social Login

Choose your club

Other Sites

Network Navigation

Vital Partners

'If It's Football, It's Vital'

Edgeley Park Appreciation

This article first appeared on Ian Brown's http://hedgegrower.blogspot.com site and with pictures too!

Both that site and Vital County donate monies to Help The Hatters so read on and be happy in the knowledge you are helping your club continue to exist.

----------------------------------------

Edgeley Park- Asset of Community Value- an appreciation by Mike Davies.


A league table of important football grounds gaining Asset of Community Value status would no doubt see Old Trafford and Anfield on top, followed by Ewood Park and Portman Road - each, in their time, home to the champions of England.

But for the supporters of Stockport County, getting Edgeley Park declared an Asset of Community Value (ACV) feels like a table-topping achievement after the disappointments of the last few years.

After much hard work, the Supporters` Co-operative, backed by Supporters Direct, were delighted to hear that Stockport Council agreed with them that the stadium is a valuable community resource.

As a result, under the Localism Act, any intended sale by owner, Brian Kennedy, would have to be put on hold for six months to give the Co-op a chance of raising the cash for a bid of its own. *

Inevitably, the fans have emotional attachment to the stadium.

You don`t have to be very old to have memories of wonderful nights and days at Edgeley Park:

Danny Bergara`s supercharged lot of the 1990s bearing down on the opposition`s penalty area and Kevin Francis petrifying his markers;

Dave Jones`s rather cooler team beating a series of top clubs on merit in a League Cup run that ended unluckily in the Semi Final;

and Jim Gannon`s youngsters doing a creditable version of basement league tiki-taka.


But the ACV has more than emotional significance.

The fans of this well-respected Club have watched it slip into the second tier of non-league football, operating on a part-time regional basis.

Only a dozen years ago County were in the equivalent of today`s Championship. Loyal beyond belief, the supporters have found it difficult to translate their commitment into a collective response to this decline.

Scarred by the then fan-owned Club`s collapse into Administration in 2009, they have viewed the Co-op, the reformed Supporters` Trust, with a mixture of scepticism, indifference, and, on occasions, open hostility.

But sheer disbelief at the present plight of the Club has finally galvanised the fan base. They realise that if they want to influence a revival in County`s fortune they need to get organised; and the Co-op has the legal and financial structures for doing just that.

This is why the ACV is so important. It is an early landmark in the Co-op`s revival, a tangible achievement of working together.

There are also practical benefits. For a number of years the Council`s policy intentions with regard to Edgeley Park have been subject to an enormous amount of rumour and speculation, hardly any facts, and even less action.

The granting of the ACV application has put Edgeley Park into the spotlight. The Co-op has done some useful networking with the officers in the Town Hall. The Board now hopes to open up a dialogue with the Council about the stadium`s potential as a community asset, and, importantly, its use by the football club.

Stockport County Supporters` Co-op are holding their AGM on December 3rd, and for the first time in several years a contested election for seats on the Board is expected. This is seen as a sign that the fans are taking seriously the need to get organised to give the Club and themselves the future they deserve.


* In 2003 Brian Kennedy bought the football club and at the same time found a home for another of his possessions, Sale Sharks. When he sold County to the supporters for 1 two years later, the stadium wasn`t part of the deal, except by way of an option to pay off a 4 million debt on it.



Mike Davies


----------------------------------------

I would just like to add that if you have not joined the co-op already then please do! This really is the only game in town now. If you want to protect Stockport County then go here!



Cropped




Use your social login to comment on front page articles. Login using you Facebook, Twitter, Google or LinkedIn accounts and have your say!



Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The Journalist

Writer: Cropped Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday November 29 2013

Time: 12:00PM

 

Have Your Say

Log in...
with your social network     OR     with your Vital account

Recent Stockport County Articles

County - Top 5 shirts (Thursday September 18 2014)

County 2 Worcester City 0 (Wednesday September 17 2014)

County up to fifth ! (Wednesday September 17 2014)

Worcester at EP tonight ! (Tuesday September 16 2014)

County 3 Boston United 2 (Sunday September 14 2014)

Helping the Hatters / Boston Preview (Friday September 12 2014)

County Memorabilia (Thursday September 11 2014)

Slowly, slowly catchy monkey (Tuesday September 9 2014)

Finger to Solihull Moors? (Monday September 8 2014)

Hednesford Town 1 County 1 (Sunday September 7 2014)

Archived Stockport County Articles

List All Vital County Articles
Have your say
Click here to suggest an article
Click here to suggest a poll

Vital Members League (view all)

Breaking League News

Turley Signs For Eastleigh
Bristol Rovers : 18/09/2014 16:20:00
Latest vitalbulls poll result.
Hereford : 18/09/2014 15:21:00
News beginning to trickle out at Bulls.
Hereford : 18/09/2014 15:05:00
County - Top 5 shirts
Stockport : 18/09/2014 12:00:00
Report: Welling United 2-0 Lincoln City
Lincoln : 17/09/2014 22:55:00

Current Site Poll (view all polls)

Phoenix Club
Suggested By:  Grim Reaper
I'd support it. 30%
Nope. The end for me. 70%