AFC Wimbledon needs to raise £11 million more by January 2020 in order to complete construction work on their new stadium at Plough Lane in South London.
Due to “unforeseen planning delays and increased building costs” the club now needs to race against time, so that they can develop a financial plan in order for the construction to continue.
Wimbledon’s New Plough Lane will have a 9,000 capacity
“The stadium is already taking shape and, while we are totally committed to completing the project, we are also about to reach a point of no return,” a club statement read.
“Our constructors need a financial commitment from us by January to enable them to complete the final phases and instruct their own sub-contractors. As it stands at the moment, we are unable to make that commitment.”
“Because of unforeseen planning delays and increased building costs, we will need to raise a further £11m to complete the stadium as we all want it to be, with income-generating conference and banqueting facilities, an additional 5000 covered seats through semi-permanent stands and a showpiece fans’ zone.”
Wimbledon has three options to resolve the issue
Wimbledon’s board has narrowed down to three options to solve the financial issue. The three options will be debated at the special meeting of the Dons Trust board on December 9.
“Borrowing the money would almost certainly mean very high repayments, which will leave us with a playing budget barely capable of surviving in League Two,” the club said in the statement.
“If we build what we can afford, the main stand would be a basic shell, without any of the new revenue streams such as conference and banqueting, club shop or hospitality facilities that we badly need to bolster our playing budget. We could add these facilities in the future – if we can get the money and if the level of football we are competing in at the time will sustain them.
“Or do we accept offers of investment from some private investors, who we got to know during our crowdfunding campaign? This would give us the majority of the money we need to build the stadium we all want – and leave us with a realistic playing budget to compete in League One on top.”
At the moment, Wimbledon is solely owned by its fans. Any external investor involvement would drastically change the ownership structure of the club.