Page last updated at 07:31 GMT, Thursday, 17 September 2009 08:31 UK

Ebbsfleet ground sold to council

Ebbsfleet United's ground
Ebbsfleet's Stonebridge Road stadium was due to be auctioned off

Ebbsfleet United Football Club's Stonebridge Road stadium has been bought by Gravesham Borough Council.

The ground, which had been owned by Land Securities, was due to be auctioned next week and the club was trying to raise funds to buy it.

Gravesham council said it had stepped in to buy the freehold and would extend Ebbsfleet United's lease and charge them a peppercorn rent of £1 per year.

The Blue Square Premier club's chairman Duncan Holt said he was delighted.

'Secure club's future'

He added: "Obviously we will redouble our efforts to raise the money ourselves but to have this option leaves the football club in a very strong position.

"We would like to thank the council for helping us put this together under some very tight time constraints."

This gives the opportunity to secure the club's long-term future as well as protecting the site in community as a major sporting asset
Councillor Mike Snelling
Gravesham Borough Council

Gravesham council said if the club did raise enough money to buy the ground it would "reappraise the situation in the interests of the club and assist the club in achieving its objectives".

Councillor Mike Snelling said: "We have taken decisive action to resolve a huge problem which was threatening the very existence of our local football club.

"This gives the opportunity to secure the club's long-term future as well as protecting the site in community as a major sporting asset.

"I am delighted that we have been able to have done this in this financial climate. We have been able to proceed with this by using reserves at no charge to the council tax payers of the borough."

The ground will be withdrawn from the auction following the completion of the sale on Thursday.

Ebbsfleet are owned by members of subscription website MyFootballClub, who have a say on all major decisions which are made.

The club won the FA Trophy in 2008.



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Ebbsfleet decide to keep Daish on
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