Wiltshire

Swindon Town fans to be offered shares in £2.2m stadium

County Ground
Image caption The County Ground has been Swindon Town's rented home since 1896

Swindon Town FC fans are being given the chance to own part of the club's County Ground.

The League Two club agreed to buy the freehold for the ground from Swindon Borough Council in March for £2.2m.

Shares will be offered to fans with a minimum price of £19.69 in honour of the club's first and only League Cup Final win in 1969, against Arsenal.

Swindon chairman Lee Power said owning the stadium would allow them to redevelop the County Ground.

The ground has been Swindon Town's rented home since 1896.

The club said the freehold was "subject to the purchase costs being met by both the club and supporters" and it needed at least 2,300 supporters to "commit to purchase a community share".

Mr Power said the ground would be something "the whole community can be proud of".

"Clubs need to maximise their revenue streams in order to survive," he said.

"Getting the stadium ownership resolved and achieving promotion would certainly be a nice double to end the season."

Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Swindon Town players carrying off the trophy after the Third Division Club beat first division Arsenal in the Football League Cup final at Wembley, 15 March 1969

Councillor David Renard, leader of Swindon Borough Council, said the club was an "important part of the local community".

"The partnership between the club and the supporters is the start of a new era, which will lay the foundations for success off the pitch as well as on it," he said.

Further details of the share offer will be announced by the Supporters' Trust on 20 March.

In 1969 Swindon beat Arsenal 3-1 to win the League Cup for the first and only time in the club's history.

Roger Smart opened the scoring before two goals from club legend Don Rogers sealed victory, a triumph that still stands as the club's greatest-ever achievement.

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