Kingstonian FC will become a community-owned club and leave their Kingston home after the ground was sold to Premier League Chelsea FC, according to the club chairmen.
At an open meeting held on Saturday at Kingsmeadow stadium, shared by Kingstonian FC and AFC Wimbledon, the three club owners revealed that they will be given “a significant amount of money from AFC Wimbledon” which will be used to build a new stadium.
Chairman Mark Anderson said: “We feel that the future of this club has to involve new guys. It’s time for us to become a community-owned club, we want to involve everybody in this function.”
Although the idea is still at early stages, the news came as a surprise to Kingstonian FC supporters, who had started a petition to save the club from becoming homeless.
The petition, which was set up by fan James Cutteridge, has now reached the 500 signatures it needed to bring the topic for debate at the next council meeting in December.
In response to the petition, Kingston council leader Kevin Davis said: “As our borough grows and changes, we must protect our heritage and the things that make this area special. Kingstonian FC certainly falls into that category.”
Since there was no agreement between the new leaseholders and Kingstonian FC, Mr Davis said the council would try “to identify suitable locations in the borough” to build new grounds.
Kingstonian FC is a 130-year-old club and has been sharing the Kingsmeadow stadium with leaseholders AFC Wimbledon since 2003, who will be returning to their home grounds at Plough Lane stadium in Wimbledon.
The stadium lease sale negotiations with Chelsea FC are almost at an end, with the Premier League club wanting to use the ground for youth and ladies’ teams matches.