Saturday, 12 April 2008

Swings and roundabouts?

I confess that I haven't been following the ins and outs of Dumbarton's ownership situation as closely as I should, but it seems that the fans are reacting with cautious optimism towards the latest development, announced a couple of days ago on the club's website. In short, the sale of the majority shareholding is now complete and the purchaser is a "special purposes corporate vehicle" (hmnn!) named Brabco, controlled by current director Callum Hosie. It is funded by private equity and its priority "remains to secure the long term future of the Club and to improve the Club's standing both on and off the park." So it says on the packet.

Meanwhile, Ian MacFarlane has resigned as chairman and director. As a result Alan Jardine assumes the role of chair and Gilbert Lawrie has been appointed as CEO with a remit from the Board to run the club on a day to day basis and "advise on strategic matters and policy". Good wishes to all concerned. One issue, of course, is how all this will impact the role of the Sonstrust. A holding announcement has been issued about this, subject to impending discussions, and Gilbert's appointment warmly welcomed. I had a brief chat with him at the lunch before Stranraer game. Seems a sound chap.

A long-standing issue of concern has been the future of the Rock. The Sons only moved there in 2000, following the sale of Boghead Park, formerly the oldest professional ground in Britain, for a housing redevelopment. In recent times there has been much speculation about whether the Strathclyde Homes Stadium (as it is formally known) could survive in its picturesque location underneath the castle and on the banks of the river. It is a neat little ground with good potential. However, the expansion of housing in the area meant that developers had been sniffing around. Now, it seems, the heat is off a little because new local properties are not selling. In any event, £10 million (or whatever) in the pocket and no logical site for an alternative stadium is not a safe place for any team to be in... as Brighton and a number of other clubs could testify on the basis of recent experience.

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