New East Stand

TangerinePeel

Well-known member
Couldnt disagree more. Thats small time thinking. Oyston thinking. It doesnt work like that because it would never be added to and if do we progress we are always limited in crowds. 20 k is a must.
Disagree that its Oyston thinking, Oyston thinking is leaving a stadium completely unfinished for 20+ years after knocking the old one down. I don't think its small time thinking, or something to sneer at - taking a pinch of realism into the conversation of what size stadium we need.

As I said to LA1, we only averaged just over 12k in The Championship the season after we came down from the Prem and we were flying all season in the play-off spots, playing the most exciting football in my lifetime. A stadium just under 18k with a 1 tiered East Stand and North East corner is hardly "small time thinking" for a club our size IMO.

But as he pointed out, a bigger stadium allows for hosting more away fans for the big games. I doubt we'd ever fill a 20k+ stadium with mainly home fans unless we got to the Premier League.
 

TangerinePeel

Well-known member
Whilst I appreciate the ground needed doing in 2001, finishing the East is looking like it's going to look like a soulless soap dish/bowl. I'm not a fan of bowls like the Keepmoat/Coventry (or was) Leicester/Southampton etc. I understand why they're doing it like that but it would have been nice to do something a bit different with the East.

Overall the plans for the area look fantastic and a much needed boost
I think that is just a council interpretation and they just mirrored the West for the sake of the proposal. According to other posters on here the club haven't even agreed to anything as of yet so bit of a dick move on part of the council/gazette to get everyone hyped up.
 

td53

Well-known member
Whilst I appreciate the ground needed doing in 2001, finishing the East is looking like it's going to look like a soulless soap dish/bowl. I'm not a fan of bowls like the Keepmoat/Coventry (or was) Leicester/Southampton etc. I understand why they're doing it like that but it would have been nice to do something a bit different with the East.

Overall the plans for the area look fantastic and a much needed boost
I agree, as tinpot as the temp stand is, it does add a bit of character and I'd love to see the east have a different level on it and some sort of gable or something that gave it character.

It's interesting in baseball which got much quicker on to rebuilding traditional stadia, that by the 2010s the fashion had moved from building futuristic ones to building new stadiums in traditional styles.

I can't think of any specific features of our old ground you could ape but I like the way they built in the archibald Leitch style lattice work into the stadium of light for example.

I'm think I'd like the east to be multi tiered or taller but with a cool crest on the halfway line on the roof or something like that.
 

LA1 Seasider

Well-known member
Disagree that its Oyston thinking, Oyston thinking is leaving a stadium completely unfinished for 20+ years after knocking the old one down. I don't think its small time thinking, or something to sneer at - taking a pinch of realism into the conversation of what size stadium we need.

As I said to LA1, we only averaged just over 12k in The Championship the season after we came down from the Prem and we were flying all season in the play-off spots, playing the most exciting football in my lifetime. A stadium just under 18k with a 1 tiered East Stand and North East corner is hardly "small time thinking" for a club our size IMO.

But as he pointed out, a bigger stadium allows for hosting more away fans for the big games. I doubt we'd ever fill a 20k+ stadium with mainly home fans unless we got to the Premier League.
I don't think we should look at past attendances too much when predicting future attendances either. On the whole attendances across the football league are increasing (and there's a whole myriad of reasons for that). The club prior to getting to the Premier League had had basically no build up / marketing plan in place for 30 years. We built up a lot of fair weather support in our Premier League year - basically Man United and Liverpool fans who wanted to see a game on their doorstep and as soon as we dropped out of the Premier League they soon lost interest.

Blackpool has historically been quite a transient population but that is becoming less so due to the decrease in tourism and the tourism economy as a whole. Blackpool is also a growing population. With a bit of foresight and planning the club can look to increase attendances year on year with an eye on creating much larger average attendances in the future. That planning never happened under Oyston hence why Karl wasn't unduly concerned over locking out what he thought was 50 or so supporters....

With a long term plan in place, with effort and initially a fair bit of investment, there's absolutely no reason why a town the size of Blackpool cant in the long term support a club with 25000+ average attendances should we make it to the Premier League With away fans taken into account it is reasonable to assume we could attract the occasional 30000+attandence under the right circumstances (potentially even outside of the top flight).

Naturally a facility able to host such crowds also becomes an asset away from football too.
 

BFC_53

Well-known member
Some good points on here.

I think fundamentally, the 16k capacity was drawn up at a time when we were in league 2 and hadn't seen 10k blackpool fans in the stadium for 30 years or more. Things have changed since then, we're a different beast. We averaged around 14k for one of our championship seasons, and I don't think getting 12-13k home fans regularly in the league above seems as far fetched as it did back then. Consequently, by sticking to 16k, we are permanently restricting our ability to offer much more than 2k away tickets, and that often means losing out on hundreds of thousands every year. For a club in our location to maximise it's potential it really needs the ability to offer at least 5k to away fans. PNE, Rovers, Wigan can all do this and we'll always be at a disadvantage to them if we can't.
 

TangerinePeel

Well-known member
I don't think we should look at past attendances too much when predicting future attendances either. On the whole attendances across the football league are increasing (and there's a whole myriad of reasons for that). The club prior to getting to the Premier League had had basically no build up / marketing plan in place for 30 years. We built up a lot of fair weather support in our Premier League year - basically Man United and Liverpool fans who wanted to see a game on their doorstep and as soon as we dropped out of the Premier League they soon lost interest.

Blackpool has historically been quite a transient population but that is becoming less so due to the decrease in tourism and the tourism economy as a whole. Blackpool is also a growing population. With a bit of foresight and planning the club can look to increase attendances year on year with an eye on creating much larger average attendances in the future. That planning never happened under Oyston hence why Karl wasn't unduly concerned over locking out what he thought was 50 or so supporters....

With a long term plan in place, with effort and initially a fair bit of investment, there's absolutely no reason why a town the size of Blackpool cant in the long term support a club with 25000+ average attendances should we make it to the Premier League With away fans taken into account it is reasonable to assume we could attract the occasional 30000+attandence under the right circumstances (potentially even outside of the top flight).

Naturally a facility able to host such crowds also becomes an asset away from football too.
I think all of that is fair enough and some very valid points. I'm just musing at whether gradationally improving the ground is a better step but I guess it depends on the plans entirely - ultimately Sadler's plan to build the east could be way down the line, by that point we could already be in the Championship and the building of an 8k East Stand/North East corner would make perfect sense. You can also factor in the draw that a new fancy stadium brings as well, a new all singing, all dancing East Stand could pique the interest of some.

If Sadler came out tomorrow and said he's upping Bloomfield Road to 20k as soon as he can I certainly wouldn't grumble anyway!
 

PNENIL

Well-known member
Our season ticket sales in the championship when we are going well would compare to Blackburn, Burnley and PNE. You dont see any of them sloshing about in a 16k stadium. We are continually percieved as the smallest of these 4 clubs and i think the ground has a lot to do with it.
 

Shiggy

Well-known member
Just me that doesn’t want a 20k stadium? I see the appeal in terms of potential for increased revenue, probably nicer on the eye etc, but what’s the point if we can’t fill it?

I’ve always laughed at nobbers, bolton, wigan etc for having larger stadiums that they never, ever fill. Wouldn’t want us to become one of those clubs.

Perfect scenario for me is a new east stand that doesn’t necessarily increase capacity but is much improved on the farce we have now in terms of appearance and practicality. Bigger isn’t always better.
 

AllTheBoysAreCheerin'

Well-known member
Other than the fact that the club is losing money hand over fist due to covid and the lack of gate receipts, and the training ground has a budget of up to £12 million. Finding a further £10 million or so might not be a concurrent priority when there is a serviceable stand in place.
You may well be right, who knows? Perhaps it's a question for the upcoming meeting.
 

basilrobbie

Well-known member
Hmmm. I'd like to see the ground redevelopment finished. Who wouldn't?

I just don't think it is an urgent priority, for the following reasons :

a) the current stand is serviceable enough, albeit very basic. We sit or stand in far worse on our travels

b) it is very expensive, and dependent upon third parties to make it happen

c) we have plenty of more pressing, and more important priorities - like the training ground and the Academy/scouting set up

d) I would be hesitant about committing that amount of money to a club with 4,000 ST holders and average gates at around 50% of current capacity

I think this is one of those things we will just have to be patient about. The owner's pockets may be deep, but they aren't bottomless. He has to pick and choose his targets carefully.
 

Seainsea

Well-known member
Looking at the Revoelution masterplan in more detail, I think the new grey coloured building to the right of a new east stand would be a new school. The existing school on the other side of Revoe Park would close and be redeveloped for housing. If it is supposed to be a new school, where is the parking for it? The detailed masterplan confirms that all the existing housing and businesses from Back Henry Street through to Central Drive would all go
Regarding parking for the proposed school, the answer could be to share the football club parking at the North end of the stadium.
 

Bispham_Seasider

Well-known member
Hmmm. I'd like to see the ground redevelopment finished. Who wouldn't?

I just don't think it is an urgent priority, for the following reasons :

a) the current stand is serviceable enough, albeit very basic. We sit or stand in far worse on our travels

b) it is very expensive, and dependent upon third parties to make it happen

c) we have plenty of more pressing, and more important priorities - like the training ground and the Academy/scouting set up

d) I would be hesitant about committing that amount of money to a club with 4,000 ST holders and average gates at around 50% of current capacity

I think this is one of those things we will just have to be patient about. The owner's pockets may be deep, but they aren't bottomless. He has to pick and choose his targets carefully.

Hmmm. I'd like to see the ground redevelopment finished. Who wouldn't?

I just don't think it is an urgent priority, for the following reasons :

a) the current stand is serviceable enough, albeit very basic. We sit or stand in far worse on our travels

b) it is very expensive, and dependent upon third parties to make it happen

c) we have plenty of more pressing, and more important priorities - like the training ground and the Academy/scouting set up

d) I would be hesitant about committing that amount of money to a club with 4,000 ST holders and average gates at around 50% of current capacity

I think this is one of those things we will just have to be patient about. The owner's pockets may be deep, but they aren't bottomless. He has to pick and choose his targets carefully.
Agreed, although it should be borne in mind that this has all arisen from the Council document, rather than the club, who haven't commented or confirmed anything. The document makes it very clear that the stadium development is a private matter for the club.

There does at least appear to be scope for the club to have more involvement with the community if they and the council work together.
 

Bottle

Well-known member
I agree, as tinpot as the temp stand is, it does add a bit of character and I'd love to see the east have a different level on it and some sort of gable or something that gave it character.

It's interesting in baseball which got much quicker on to rebuilding traditional stadia, that by the 2010s the fashion had moved from building futuristic ones to building new stadiums in traditional styles.

I can't think of any specific features of our old ground you could ape but I like the way they built in the archibald Leitch style lattice work into the stadium of light for example.

I'm think I'd like the east to be multi tiered or taller but with a cool crest on the halfway line on the roof or something like that.
Quite agree, I’d like to see a New East Stand modelled on the old Scratching Sheds. Traditional corrugated asbestos roof cladding and antiqued stanchions with plenty of nesting opportunities for the local pigeon population. Concrete terracing with 4” raise between steps to ensure standing fans can’t quite see the pitch over the heads of the people in front with a proliferation of said stanchions blocking key areas of the viewing “space”.

The overhang of the roof should be short enough to ensure the setting sun in the East makes it hard for normal eyes to operate unless pulling some kind of “Benny Hill” style salute. High security netting incorporated to segregate away fans and minimum efficiency turnstiles to ensure pre-match crowding stretches back to Central Drive and away fans directed to pass directly through home fan queuing as they attempt to gain entry. Likewise exit doors will be installed such that fans are still in the ground waiting to get out at 17:30 to reduce overcrowding outside the Ground.

A Luxury toilet - (1 x 2 man urinal + 1 undersized “trap”) furnished with only the finest and shiniest of toilet “tissue” and Green leaning hand washing facility where hot water is optional and not desirable. Facilities for Ladies Toilets are incorporated in the Male toilets where they will have access to the “trap” and a cast iron guarantee that nobody will climb up to look over the door.

Catering via a “hatch” system will ensure only piping hot bovril will be served but the option to add your own milk and sugar will be provided by means of an old jam jar containing Tate & Lyle Finest Granulated Sugar and a broken plastic spoon and a box of milk portions that may or may not run out of supply after 5 minutes of opening.

To complete that nostalgic return to that “Football In The Nineties Feel” genuine Tannoy Speakers will operate intermittently at either 1 Level ABOVE Max or -1 Level BELOW Min.

I think you will all agree that the new stand would be an instant hit with both home and especially away fans who will once again be able to proclaim loudly and proudly “Shit Ground No Fans, Shit Ground No Fans”
 

td53

Well-known member
Quite agree, I’d like to see a New East Stand modelled on the old Scratching Sheds. Traditional corrugated asbestos roof cladding and antiqued stanchions with plenty of nesting opportunities for the local pigeon population. Concrete terracing with 4” raise between steps to ensure standing fans can’t quite see the pitch over the heads of the people in front with a proliferation of said stanchions blocking key areas of the viewing “space”.

The overhang of the roof should be short enough to ensure the setting sun in the East makes it hard for normal eyes to operate unless pulling some kind of “Benny Hill” style salute. High security netting incorporated to segregate away fans and minimum efficiency turnstiles to ensure pre-match crowding stretches back to Central Drive and away fans directed to pass directly through home fan queuing as they attempt to gain entry. Likewise exit doors will be installed such that fans are still in the ground waiting to get out at 17:30 to reduce overcrowding outside the Ground.

A Luxury toilet - (1 x 2 man urinal + 1 undersized “trap”) furnished with only the finest and shiniest of toilet “tissue” and Green leaning hand washing facility where hot water is optional and not desirable. Facilities for Ladies Toilets are incorporated in the Male toilets where they will have access to the “trap” and a cast iron guarantee that nobody will climb up to look over the door.

Catering via a “hatch” system will ensure only piping hot bovril will be served but the option to add your own milk and sugar will be provided by means of an old jam jar containing Tate & Lyle Finest Granulated Sugar and a broken plastic spoon and a box of milk portions that may or may not run out of supply after 5 minutes of opening.

To complete that nostalgic return to that “Football In The Nineties Feel” genuine Tannoy Speakers will operate intermittently at either 1 Level ABOVE Max or -1 Level BELOW Min.

I think you will all agree that the new stand would be an instant hit with both home and especially away fans who will once again be able to proclaim loudly and proudly “Shit Ground No Fans, Shit Ground No Fans”
🧡 👏👏👏👏👏👏🧡
 

Devonshire

Well-known member
I think if it is possible we should look now for for stadium of around 20k capacity. Thing is why would we wait, it is not as though it’s going to become cheaper if we leave it a couple of years, also once we get back to the championship we need to maximize away fans (without denying home fans a seat). Any major development will also take time, so if possible let’s do it now rather then when we are back in the championship and it impacts upon capacity during the season. 20k is not an unrealistic figure and will last for years to come.
 

fcblackpool

Well-known member
Quite agree, I’d like to see a New East Stand modelled on the old Scratching Sheds. Traditional corrugated asbestos roof cladding and antiqued stanchions with plenty of nesting opportunities for the local pigeon population. Concrete terracing with 4” raise between steps to ensure standing fans can’t quite see the pitch over the heads of the people in front with a proliferation of said stanchions blocking key areas of the viewing “space”.

The overhang of the roof should be short enough to ensure the setting sun in the East makes it hard for normal eyes to operate unless pulling some kind of “Benny Hill” style salute. High security netting incorporated to segregate away fans and minimum efficiency turnstiles to ensure pre-match crowding stretches back to Central Drive and away fans directed to pass directly through home fan queuing as they attempt to gain entry. Likewise exit doors will be installed such that fans are still in the ground waiting to get out at 17:30 to reduce overcrowding outside the Ground.

A Luxury toilet - (1 x 2 man urinal + 1 undersized “trap”) furnished with only the finest and shiniest of toilet “tissue” and Green leaning hand washing facility where hot water is optional and not desirable. Facilities for Ladies Toilets are incorporated in the Male toilets where they will have access to the “trap” and a cast iron guarantee that nobody will climb up to look over the door.

Catering via a “hatch” system will ensure only piping hot bovril will be served but the option to add your own milk and sugar will be provided by means of an old jam jar containing Tate & Lyle Finest Granulated Sugar and a broken plastic spoon and a box of milk portions that may or may not run out of supply after 5 minutes of opening.

To complete that nostalgic return to that “Football In The Nineties Feel” genuine Tannoy Speakers will operate intermittently at either 1 Level ABOVE Max or -1 Level BELOW Min.

I think you will all agree that the new stand would be an instant hit with both home and especially away fans who will once again be able to proclaim loudly and proudly “Shit Ground No Fans, Shit Ground No Fans”
It would have to have a roof cat flap too.
 

tango94

Well-known member
Quite agree, I’d like to see a New East Stand modelled on the old Scratching Sheds. Traditional corrugated asbestos roof cladding and antiqued stanchions with plenty of nesting opportunities for the local pigeon population. Concrete terracing with 4” raise between steps to ensure standing fans can’t quite see the pitch over the heads of the people in front with a proliferation of said stanchions blocking key areas of the viewing “space”.

The overhang of the roof should be short enough to ensure the setting sun in the East makes it hard for normal eyes to operate unless pulling some kind of “Benny Hill” style salute. High security netting incorporated to segregate away fans and minimum efficiency turnstiles to ensure pre-match crowding stretches back to Central Drive and away fans directed to pass directly through home fan queuing as they attempt to gain entry. Likewise exit doors will be installed such that fans are still in the ground waiting to get out at 17:30 to reduce overcrowding outside the Ground.

A Luxury toilet - (1 x 2 man urinal + 1 undersized “trap”) furnished with only the finest and shiniest of toilet “tissue” and Green leaning hand washing facility where hot water is optional and not desirable. Facilities for Ladies Toilets are incorporated in the Male toilets where they will have access to the “trap” and a cast iron guarantee that nobody will climb up to look over the door.

Catering via a “hatch” system will ensure only piping hot bovril will be served but the option to add your own milk and sugar will be provided by means of an old jam jar containing Tate & Lyle Finest Granulated Sugar and a broken plastic spoon and a box of milk portions that may or may not run out of supply after 5 minutes of opening.

To complete that nostalgic return to that “Football In The Nineties Feel” genuine Tannoy Speakers will operate intermittently at either 1 Level ABOVE Max or -1 Level BELOW Min.

I think you will all agree that the new stand would be an instant hit with both home and especially away fans who will once again be able to proclaim loudly and proudly “Shit Ground No Fans, Shit Ground No Fans”
That took me right back to watching from the old scratching shed for 20 years.
 

LeeCharlesTV

Well-known member
Whilst I appreciate the ground needed doing in 2001, finishing the East is looking like it's going to look like a soulless soap dish/bowl. I'm not a fan of bowls like the Keepmoat/Coventry (or was) Leicester/Southampton etc. I understand why they're doing it like that but it would have been nice to do something a bit different with the East.

Overall the plans for the area look fantastic and a much needed boost
If you look at the ground on Google earth the South East corner cannot look like that as it is already a square corner. Also I'm not sure the East can be exactly the same as the West due to the way the piles were driven in and the pictures we saw at the time of how that stand would look if it ever were to be redeveloped

It looks to me like the mock up just reversed the West Side of the ground to give an idea of how something would fit I'm not sure it can be a mirror image of the West stand? maybe it can? but my gut feeling is it won't
 

Lewis_Winthorpe

Well-known member
If you look at the ground on Google earth the South East corner cannot look like that as it is already a square corner. Also I'm not sure the East can be exactly the same as the West due to the way the piles were driven in and the pictures we saw at the time of how that stand would look if it ever were to be redeveloped

It looks to me like the mock up just reversed the West Side of the ground to give an idea of how something would fit I'm not sure it can be a mirror image of the West stand? maybe it can? but my gut feeling is it won't
I think you're right RE the mock up. I hope it's a bit different to give the ground a little bit of something different to say for exapmple the Keepmoat
 

Stu99

Well-known member
We should wait until we average 12.5k per season (75% of capacity) then focus on the north east corner (+1.5k capacity).

Then, when we average 75% of the new capacity, we should look at a permanent east stand.

Before this, I think we’ve got much bigger priorities. We already have one of the best grounds in the league and we should invest in a training ground and the playing squad first.
 

onlyonepool

Well-known member
Pretty much Oyston small time mentality from a few on here. Karl was always " build when we fill". Look where that left us, we reached the Prem and had to throw up an emergency temporary stand as we were nowhere near prepared. We averaged just under 16k that Prem season, only able to accommodate just over 2k away fans. Preston can cater for 5500 away fans.

Some also seem to have short term memories for 4 seasons , the Prem and the following 3 in the Championship before the boycott we averaged 14k.

2010/11 15,780
2011/12 12,764
2012/13 13,917
2013/14 14,217

For the 4 seasons pre boycott following the Prem year we averaged 10k season tickets, see attached, all this under the O's, what could we achieve under the ambitious stewardship of Simon Sadler?

The capacity has to be 20k minimum, wait until we establish ourselves in the Championship by all means but let's at least be prepared this time should we reach the promised land again.

 

kuriousoranj

Well-known member
The Southend game drew 15,500 home fans, I bet there were a few Blackpool that didn't make it that day. I'm in touch with four other Pool fans and and none were at that particular game. Realistically the club needs a minimum of 16/17,000 home seats and Blackpool being Blackpool an away end that is adaptable depending on the opposition. 20,000 would be sufficient.
 
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Chaddy Tangerine

Well-known member
If we're going to be competitive long term with our traditional rivals Preston, Burnley and Bolton then we should be aiming for an eventual capacity of 25k not just 20k. But might it be more cost effective to build a new 25k stadium on a brownfield site rather than trying to expand on the cramped Bloomfield Road site?
 

Rotterdam+Sussex_Seasider

Well-known member
Quite agree, I’d like to see a New East Stand modelled on the old Scratching Sheds. Traditional corrugated asbestos roof cladding and antiqued stanchions with plenty of nesting opportunities for the local pigeon population. Concrete terracing with 4” raise between steps to ensure standing fans can’t quite see the pitch over the heads of the people in front with a proliferation of said stanchions blocking key areas of the viewing “space”.

The overhang of the roof should be short enough to ensure the setting sun in the East makes it hard for normal eyes to operate unless pulling some kind of “Benny Hill” style salute. High security netting incorporated to segregate away fans and minimum efficiency turnstiles to ensure pre-match crowding stretches back to Central Drive and away fans directed to pass directly through home fan queuing as they attempt to gain entry. Likewise exit doors will be installed such that fans are still in the ground waiting to get out at 17:30 to reduce overcrowding outside the Ground.

A Luxury toilet - (1 x 2 man urinal + 1 undersized “trap”) furnished with only the finest and shiniest of toilet “tissue” and Green leaning hand washing facility where hot water is optional and not desirable. Facilities for Ladies Toilets are incorporated in the Male toilets where they will have access to the “trap” and a cast iron guarantee that nobody will climb up to look over the door.

Catering via a “hatch” system will ensure only piping hot bovril will be served but the option to add your own milk and sugar will be provided by means of an old jam jar containing Tate & Lyle Finest Granulated Sugar and a broken plastic spoon and a box of milk portions that may or may not run out of supply after 5 minutes of opening.

To complete that nostalgic return to that “Football In The Nineties Feel” genuine Tannoy Speakers will operate intermittently at either 1 Level ABOVE Max or -1 Level BELOW Min.

I think you will all agree that the new stand would be an instant hit with both home and especially away fans who will once again be able to proclaim loudly and proudly “Shit Ground No Fans, Shit Ground No Fans”
That specification sounds spot on! Although I would add "Potts must go!" graffiti as our own little Banksy touch at the South entrance. 😂
 

TangerineArmy

Well-known member
Agree what others have said with away fans. We need a decent stand that can give away fans a good 5k or more even if we are flying high, not only does it add a great atmosphere but also brings much needed extra revenue to the town, even now the teams at the bottom of championship are saying "roll on Blackpool away"... they will be gutted when they come down and we go up :)
 

Bottle

Well-known member
Pretty much Oyston small time mentality from a few on here. Karl was always " build when we fill". Look where that left us, we reached the Prem and had to throw up an emergency temporary stand as we were nowhere near prepared. We averaged just under 16k that Prem season, only able to accommodate just over 2k away fans. Preston can cater for 5500 away fans.

Some also seem to have short term memories for 4 seasons , the Prem and the following 3 in the Championship before the boycott we averaged 14k.

2010/11 15,780
2011/12 12,764
2012/13 13,917
2013/14 14,217

For the 4 seasons pre boycott following the Prem year we averaged 10k season tickets, see attached, all this under the O's, what could we achieve under the ambitious stewardship of Simon Sadler?

The capacity has to be 20k minimum, wait until we establish ourselves in the Championship by all means but let's at least be prepared this time should we reach the promised land again.

I think we should follow the Brighton model where they built in the ability to increase their capacity when they - eventually - reached the Prem.

It paid off, the ground looked and sounded full before they did reach the top division. When they did, the demand was there to fill in the corners.

Remember going to their new ground (the 2-2 draw and 6-0 defeat) and still think its still one of the best atmospheres and grounds I have been to in the last 15 years as an away fan - as well as one of the best games and one of the worst results, which didn’t dampen my admiration for their long suffering fans and for the way they went about their “rebuild”.
 
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