ILYAS Khan has pledged his commitment to fund a new stadium forAccrington Stanley – and his ideal site would be the area next to Hyndburn Sports Centre.
Stanley pulled out of an attempt to redevelop part of the Crown Ground during the summer, which had been dependent on a grant from the Local Enterprise Growth Initiative.
“We did not meet the requirements that LEGI demand,” said Khan.
“But the council were very supportive. If we can privately fund this, rather than going to the council and asking for a hand-out, suddenly it changes the equation.”
Ilyas Khan is Stanley’s non-executive chairman who helped to save the Reds from going out of business last year. He believes the club needs a new stadium if finances are to improve in the long term.
Khan believes average gates must improve by between 500 and 800, with sponsorship increasing by 30 per cent, if the club is to remain stable in the long term. He also believes that none of this can happen while staying at the Crown Ground.
The multi-millionaire has outlined a strategy that involves giving a Supporters’ Trust control of the club, transforming the off-the-field management structure and increasing attendances and sponsorships.
Khan’s vision for a new stadium within two or three years remains only an idea at this stage but he has insisted that he would personally bankroll any relocation and his preferred site would be in the vicinity of Hyndburn Sports Centre in Henry Street.
The site is less than a mile from Accrington town centre on the main road to the M65 and the Arnold Clark car superstore closed there recently.
“If there was one magic wand I could wave it would be for that site,” said Khan.
“There may be other sites but as of right now, it’s in Accy, it’s near the motorway access and it’s ripe for redevelopment.
“But me saying it and it happening are a long way away. We need the co-operation of the council and the county planners.
“It will take time before we have a home that is welcoming to crowds and sponsors.
“I recognise that is not something the club can afford.
“My job will be to help build a stadium that I will pay for. That is what I’d like to spend my time doing.”
Greengates Builders Merchants Accrington say good luck to Mr Khan and Accrington Stanley and we hope you get the green light for your new venture.