Cambridge United buy back Abbey Stadium


Cambridge United complete purchase of Abbey Stadium Image: Cambridge United

The EFL League One club Cambridge United F.C. has completed the purchase of the Abbey Stadium in Cambridge, England (UK) from Grosvenor on September 2nd.

The stadium had been owned by Grosvenor Property UK since 2010.

‘Cambridge United’ further stated that there has been further equity investment by the existing owners into the club of £4.5m, the majority of which has been used to fund the purchase and meet associated costs and expenses.

The Cambridge United Football Club is a professional association football club based in the city of Cambridge, England (UK). They compete in English Football League (EFL) League One, the third tier of the English football league system. The club is based at the Abbey Stadium on Newmarket Road, approximately two miles East of the Cambridge City Centre.

The Abbey Stadium is a football stadium in Cambridge, England (UK). It has been the home ground of Cambridge United F.C. since 1932, and currently has a maximum capacity of holding 8,127 spectators.

Grosvenor Properties (UK) Limited is a local independent agent that specializes in residential property lettings across the whole of the Wirral area (Metropolitan borough in North West England).

‘Cambridge United’ further stated that the purchase includes the Abbey Stadium footprint, the current Thrifty car hire site at the front of the ground together with the bungalow on the front right.

Cambridge United’s strong relationship with Grosvenor will continue this season with the Community Trust’s award winning schools initiative now called the ‘Grosvenor Mind Your Head’ mental health program.

Put in Paul Barry, majority owner of Cambridge United, “Twenty years ago Cambridge United had to sell the Abbey Stadium just to survive. It was a low point followed by tireless work from countless people to keep the club afloat whilst at the same time trying to find a new home elsewhere in the City. But deep down we always knew that, if we had the choice and the chance, we would want to stay at the Abbey with all its charm, memories and imperfections. Today, I am proud to say that Cambridge United once again owns the Abbey Stadium. There are numerous people to thank. First and foremost, Grosvenor who has been both the best landlord the club could have wished for and the most genuine supporter of the football club in the truest sense of the word.”

Added Barry, “They will always be our valued friends and always welcome at the Abbey. We are very pleased that their relationship with the club will continue this season through the ‘Mind Your Head’ Community Trust mental health program, an issue which is important to all of us. This deal could not have happened without the support of my co-owners Mark and Adam, both of whom, in a very short period of time, have become such a valued and important part of Cambridge United. Thank you as well to the Board and the staff for all their hard work on this project over many years behind the scenes – and finally to our fans for their support and belief, particularly during the very tough times. To get to this point we have truly been one team – United in Endeavor.”

Barry continued, “We all know that the ground requires significant modernization and improvement. We will be looking at potential ways forward over the coming months but just to manage expectations, it will clearly take time and money. Self-evidently, we have had to commit significant investment for this deal alongside our other immediate priority of improving the training facilities at Clare College during the next close season. That said we are all ambitious to move forward as quickly as we can. We will be as open and transparent as we can be on any future-plans and we also look forward to working with the new Shadow Board on the Golden Share protections for the ground, once the Board has been established in the coming weeks. Whatever we decide we know we will need our fans’ support.”

Mark Green and Adam Webb, co-owners of Cambridge United, added, “Becoming part owners of Cambridge United has been a genuine privilege and joy. We have fallen in love with the club, the team and the City. In particular, we love watching games at the Abbey – either from the Main Stand or behind the goal in the Newmarket Road End. It is such a special unique place and we are so pleased to be able to play our part in helping Cambridge United own its home once again and look forward to the memories and moments that will be created in the future.”

James Cochrane of Grosvenor commented, “We are delighted to be returning the stadium back to a resurgent Cambridge United. The club is in a much stronger position today than in 2010, on the field, commercially and as a major contributor to the community. Playing a role in this success has been incredibly rewarding and we wish them luck in the season ahead. It is fantastic to be able to continue our partnership through our support of the club’s ‘Mind Your Head’ program. Supporting young people to develop their mental health literacy is a cause close to our hearts.”

As announced in March, the club intends to have a ‘Golden Share’ protection for the Stadium – in line with the recent Fan-Led Review – to ensure that Cambridge United could only move from the Abbey site with consent if at some point in the future a new location were to be considered.

The detail of this will be worked on during next year alongside the creation of a new Shadow Board. A Working Group comprising representatives from the club and the different fan groups has met six times over the close season and more details on the Shadow Board will follow shortly.

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