In Due Course


The Mail recently blazed the following banner across the internetty thing. "Hartlepool United's 'Project 25' plans revealed:New stadium and renovations to Victoria Park on the horizon?"
Talk about contradictory headline. Having read the article twice I did not see anything about definite plans for a new stadium, only speculation as to what these developments might be.

They quoted Mark Maguire as saying amongst other things as ''Whether that will be a new stadium or a new stand, we'll announce that in due course. Maguire also uses the words 'hoping', 'could' and 'due course'. I feel that the Mail has jumped the gun somewhat and in doing so is building up supporters' expectations. They should, like the fans, wait for the official announcement which, as Mark Maguire said, will be released in due course and would save the Mail the bother of writing a spurious headline.

I've now got that rant off my chest but, talking of which, do we need a new stadium? I would argue not. I took a Borer supporter to see the Yeovil game. It was his first ever visit to the Vic and he was pleasantly surprised.
"try as you may, which ever way you look at it, it does still resemble a garage/car showroom"

The stadium as it stands ('scuse the pun) could do with some redevelopment. I once saw Harold Hornsey's plans for the Mill House side back in the day, which were impressive. Offices/changing rooms and a sports hall which the public could avail of. Something should be considered similar to Chesterfield's ground which has business premises occupying parts of the ground which brings in much-needed revenue.

Looking now to the year 2025 - when we are a first division club as per Mark Maguire's Project 25 vision - I believe that the first priority should be to replace the Rink End stand in favour of a bigger one to accommodate the away supporters of the larger visiting clubs such as likes of Sunderland, Borer and, as it now stands, possibly Arsenal. Office accommodation for the staff could be incorporated into the structure. This would allow the demolition of the existing office block because, try as you may, which ever way you look at it, it does still resemble a garage/car showroom. Money being no object the Cyril Knowles stand could be made bigger and the space behind it utilised better.

Mark Maguire stated that this project will not be a white elephant, which suggests to me that a move away from the Vic would sound unlikely. The Vic is almost bang centre in the middle of the town and is easily accessible. For away fans the ground is but a 5 minute walk from the railway station as well as the busy transport interchange next to it.

All this is hypothesis at this stage and until the scheme is made official we can only wonder how this project will be financed and who will be providing the money. I am keenly looking forward to hearing what Project 25 entails and am quite excited about the whole thing.

Mind, if the word "Heskylators" crops up in the plan I will be very worried indeed!

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