CLUB STATEMENT - Braywick Park Stadium
Posted on 27th July 2023
At the RBWM Cabinet meeting tonight a decision was made by Councillors to renege on the Council’s commitment to make the Braywick Park site available to the Maidenhead United Football Club and the Maidenhead United FC Community Trust for the proposed new stadium and associated community facilities.
It is fair to say we are shocked by both decision and the decision-making process which has been implemented, and the failure of the Council to fulfil its obligations to the Club and Trust. Over the last few weeks, we have been engaged with both officers and members of the Council due to the lack of clarity about the decision process. Despite this engagement and the importance of the decision, we were not even invited to speak at the meeting and yet others were afforded the opportunity, with their statements apparently simply assumed to be true.
There is no doubt that this decision could have long-lasting negative implications for the development and growth of the Club and the Community Trust, including our men’s and women’s teams and our extensive grassroots programmes. The club’s grassroots programmes have grown exponentially over the last few years. We now have 56 Junior teams ranging from U7s to U18s, a new women’s development programme, a growing walking football provision and a new futsal programme. The club’s need for improved stadium facilities has not changed and the truth is that the town’s need for additional astroturf facilities is greater than it was three years because the town’s existing astroturfs are now at capacity. The reality is we now have Maidenhead United teams having to travel to Reading to access astroturf facilities for training. Depressingly, the Council seemingly does not have other plans for additional facilities the town needs, nor has it identified suitable alternative sites or have the capital funding needed to invest in such facilities. Clearly this a challenge we must overcome to continue to grow and thrive as a club.
Sadly, this decision will also have implications for the growth and impact of the programmes we deliver through our Community Trust including our wellbeing programmes, which support the most disadvantaged in our community and our plans to grow our disability provision. Maidenhead Athletic Club, no doubt will be equally concerned about the implications of this decision for their sustainability and growth given that they will not benefit from the improved facilities they need.
As you would expect, we will now take some time to consider our position and our next steps.
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