The Dons Trust Board wishes to clarify their position regarding the incorporation of a terrace into the proposed new stadium following an article by the football club CEO, Erik Samuelson, published in the Hartlepool match programme and subsequently on the club’s website.
The intent behind the article – to bring to the attention of fans the additional costs that having a terrace rather than an all-seated stadium would bring thanks to current legislation – was agreed and is something that needed to be raised. However the tone of the article, and particularly the unfortunate choice of headline that was used on the website when the article was republished, suggests that a decision has already been made for the new stadium to be all-seated.
This is definitely not the case, and maintaining the option for fans to stand at matches is a very high priority for the Dons Trust Board. As Erik highlighted the additional costs are a major challenge, but we will be pushing to raise the necessary finance to give us a choice, whilst in parallel working with the various supporter and fan groups campaigning for safe standing to try and change the legislation that gives the Football Stadia Improvement Fund (FSIF) no flexibility in the matter.
An explanation of how the current design can be adapted to provide standing, rail seating (the most likely form of safe-standing that may be allowed) or a seated area will be given at the next Dons Trust SGM on November 16, and fans are encouraged to come and give their views on this subject at that meeting prior to the launch of a survey of members on this and related topics in the New Year.
Dons Trust Board Chair
This article was amended on November 9 to replace an inaccurate reference to the Football Foundation.