St Albans City F.C. wants ground improvements

The Saints are keen to “move up the chain”

ST ALBANS City Football Club is calling for the refurbishment of its facilities at Clarence Park as some date back almost 90 years.

At a St Albans City Forum meeting last Thursday, club vice-chairman Nick Archer said there was not enough shelter for spectators and there was a need for catering facilities, disabled access, toilets and other ground improvements.

The football club leases the ground from St Albans district council, with that agreement up for renewal in a few years time. The main stand, built in 1922, is constructed with wood but a large number of supporting struts obscure spectators’ view of the playing area.

Nick said: “We are not calling on the council to take out the stands but we are asking them to recognise there is a need for updating them.”

Nick reminded councillors at the forum that Clarence Park was a historic ground that needed constant improvement to help take the facility to Football Conference status.

The club is currently in the Southern Premier division.

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He explained: “If we are going to move up the chain, which the club is keen to do, we need to have a ground that is up to modern day standards.”

Asked if the Saints would consider moving to another location, Nick admitted that if there was an opportunity to shift to new premises in St Albans it would consider it.

But any move would depend on the suitability of the site, and whether an alternative ground could have investment.

Nick said the council had been very supportive of the club, recently agreeing that souvenirs could shortly be sold at the St Albans Tourist and Information Centre.

The club, co-owned by Lawrence Levy and John McGowan, is keen to profitably market its brand, improve links with the community and enable a route from junior football for top local players.

Residents with season tickets to any football league club can go to Clarence Park with their ticket and watch the Saints compete at their home ground for half the entrance price.

Nick also told the forum that the club has re-established its relationship with Oaklands College, to bring through more local talent.