New owners for Bristol Rovers could end Memorial Stadium development row

February 29 2016

New owners for Bristol Rovers could end Memorial Stadium development row

THE row over development of the Bristol Rovers Memorial Stadium took an unexpected turn this week when it was announced that the club had new owners.

Bristol Rovers have been bought by Middle Eastern billionaire bankers, led by Jordanian Football Association member Wael Al Qadi.

Mr Al Qadi has been named as the new clubpresident and Steve Harmer, from Swansea City takes over as Chairman.

The outcome of the club’s High Court battle with supermarket, Sainsbury’s, over the purchase of the old Memorial Stadium in Horfield may no longer rest on whether or not a new stadium is built.

Mr Al Qadi said: “I’m very passionate about football. This football club requires and needs a new stadium. Once we are ready to go ahead with that project, we will. There’s a lot of work that has been done, but I have to come in and verify that everything is in order, before taking the next step.”

With the new owners investment, former Chairman Nick Higgs seemed to suggest in a press conference that the outcome of the court case was no longer important in deciding whether or not the new stadium could be built.

Plans for a new stadium were first announced almost 11 years ago. The club have played at the Memorial Stadium since 1996, which has a capacity of nearly 12,000. Their proposed move to a larger stadium has been fraught with delays and lack of funds.