Merton Council Leader Councillor Andrew Judge is pushing forward with plans to try to bring together a consortium to build a stadium for Wimbledon Football Club and to purchase and develop Plough Lane.
Councillor Judge said today he believed the Club was not positive about discussions to return to a site in or near Merton. In particular, the Club was unduly negative about the possibilities of returning to Plough Lane. ?This means that everyone committed to seeing the Club back in Merton and at Plough Lane has to press ahead in spite of and without the Club.
?The Council will work with the Football League, Wimbledon Independent Supporters Association, the Fans Forum, the newly formed Dons Trust and independent developers to form a consortium to end the impasse.
?Sadly, because of its attitude we will have to do this work without the Club and facilitate negotiations with other potential investors.
?I have already indicated to Mr Koppel that because of the Club?s approach to Merton and Plough Lane we would find it difficult to work with the Club, until it publicly rejects Milton Keynes.?
Councillor Judge said the Council has already got one private developer interested in building a hotel on Plough Lane and although they themselves were not prepared to build a stadium they were prepared to work alongside other developers to do so. ?They are prepared to model their hotel in such a way that it is incorporated in a stadium design.?
Councillor Judge added that the Council would be contacting other potential developers who may wish to become involved in a project to build a stadium in Plough Lane.
?This is what Charles Koppel should have been doing before he became committed to the Milton Keynes project, which would mean the end of the Club as we know it. The reaction we already have shows that had he started on this path instead of trekking North, progress could have been made on a stadium project in Plough Lane.?