Bristol Rovers: Wael al-Qadi says club exploring 'several' future stadium options

Bristol Rovers president Wael al-Qadi
Bristol Rovers president Wael al-Qadi has given an update on the club's future stadium plans

Bristol Rovers president Wael al-Qadi has revealed the club are exploring "several options" for their future home stadium.

Plans to build a 21,000-seater venue at the University of West of England (UWE) were abandoned in January 2017 after a financial deal could not be agreed.

However, those plans could now be back on the table.

Speaking to BBC Radio Bristol, Al-Qadi said: "We all know what we want, but it's about getting there."

He added: "There are several options and the Memorial Stadium is included. You always have to have a plan A, plan B and plan C.

"We have been very busy over the summer to supply our fans with a better experience at the Mem, but we see these as temporary solutions.

"I don't want to give timelines but I can assure you we are working very hard [to get] this club where it should be."

The Memorial Stadium has been the League One club's home since 1996, when they returned to Bristol following a 10-year stay in Bath.

When asked specifically about the UWE Stadium project, Al-Qadi refused to confirm or deny that it formed one of the club's future options, citing legal reasons.

The 48-year-old insists plans are already in place should the club's new training ground in Almondsbury not be ready in time for April 2019, when they are due to leave their current base near Cribbs Causeway, north Bristol.

Bristol Rovers' UWE Stadium plans
Bristol Rovers' proposed 21,000-seater UWE Stadium, which was abandoned in January 2017

The president also reiterated his and his family's commitment to the football club but admitted there had been a lack of communication with fans in recent times.

Rovers have sold forwards Matty Taylor, Billy Bodin and Ellis Harrison to Championship clubs in the past 18 months, with Al-Qadi insisting all transfer funds were being put back into the club.

He added: "It's our duty to provide the manager (Darrell Clarke) with more [funds] and we give him the maximum we can due to salary cap management protocol limits.

"Our budget is competitive. Darrell is an ambitious manager and to get us into the top six, which I believe he can, he's going to overachieve.

"We've brought in seven new players and they are supported by a professional staff. I believe we can compete and get into the top six."

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