Have Your Say: Time to buy the stadium?
THE proposal to expand the Liberty Stadium (Post, Sept 14), whilst understandable, gives rise to a number of issues. It should prompt much needed changes regarding the ownership and management of this facility.
First, it is unusual (although perfectly proper in planning terms) for a third party to apply for planning permission on someone else's property — in this case a major asset belonging to us all through the City and County of Swansea.
Second, as commented upon on the Post web site, the stadium is also home for another sporting club with a legal agreement for use of the stadium. It too deserves a suitable home that better matches its needs.
Third, a legal agreement governs the use and management of the stadium — including the costs of repair and income under which not one penny has been received by the council either for the capital cost or for ongoing use. An enlarged stadium, in years to come and if today's success fades, will be a bigger burden on the council. At a time when the council needs all the capital and revenue funds it can get to sustain its legal obligations (good schooling, adequate housing and social care) the current legal situation is no longer tenable.
The original investment by the council has done its work. The football club is successfully operating in the big time. It is right for the club to now acquire the stadium outright at its market value, dispense with the flawed model of the stadium management company, and return £30 million plus to the council to provide new housing, water tight schools, and all the other services that otherwise look set for major cuts.