EASTBOURNE United AFC club secretary Brian Dowling says he is confident that the club will be granted funds to develop The Oval.
United were officially relegated from the Sussex County League’s first division on Saturday following a tough campaign, but Dowling says the prospects of improving the club’s stadium look positive.
“Clubs at our level are entitled to a rolling £100,000 from the Football Foundation over a three-year period,” Dowling revealed. “That is, if they have got the money at the time, and you never know quite what percentage of it you’re going to get.
“Obviously the basic problem is you’ve got to match it pound for pound. We’re told there is money available, and there’s no shortage within the stadia funding. So yes, we are hopeful,” he added.
Redevelopment of The Oval is crucial for United’s progress as they look to prepare for life in division two next season.
Boss Paul Daubeney has been forced to work on a shoestring budget with his struggling outfit this term, and the United chief admitted something has to be done to make the club a more attractive proposition for fans and players alike. “Obviously there needs to be action around the ground now – otherwise it might put a spanner in the works as to who we can attract,” he said.
But Dowling has conceded that it is simply a waiting game for United. We’ve gone for stadia funding, but you can’t move until they’ve made a decision,” he said. “That could take up to six months.”
Dowling revealed he hopes any potential development will be completed by March 31 next year when the next re-grading inspections take place.