Blues Trust, the Supporters’ Trust for fans of Birmingham City FC, is today delighted to announce the listing of St. Andrew’s Stadium as an Asset of Community Value.
The designation of Blues’ home since 1906 has been made under the 2011 Localism Act, recognising the stadium’s importance to the local community.
The listing will last for five years and, unless there is a successful appeal, means that Birmingham City Council would require notification of any proposed sale of the ground. The Council will then notify Blues Trust of the sale, who, along with other community groups, would be given a period of six months to bid to purchase the nominated land.
Although not an ultimate safeguard against a potential sale of St Andrew’s, the listing brings much needed transparency to any decision by the current owners to sell one of the Club’s remaining saleable assets.
Speaking of the successful outcome, Trust chairman Steve McCarthy said: “We are delighted that Birmingham City Council agrees that St. Andrew’s holds a special place in the local community and with the people of Birmingham. We’d also like to thank the Council for the support they have shown throughout the application process.
“Under the Asset of Community Value status, there is now a legal obligation to alert Blues Trust of a potential change to our Stadium’s primary use, therefore providing a six month period in which a significant opportunity exists for the local community to prepare to bid to take control of the Stadium should they desire. There is no obligation for the owners to accept such a bid, however this listing provides community groups with both the time and opportunity to enter the bidding process.
“I wish to extend my personal thanks to members of the Trust board who have dedicated a huge amount of time and effort ensuring this successful outcome, as well Supporters’ Direct for their help and support during this process. It is important that St. Andrew’s continues to be the home of Birmingham City Football Club for many generations to come. It’s ours, and will always be ours.”
Ian Ward, Deputy Leader of Birmingham City Council added, “I fully understand the concerns of Blues fans about the future of the club. This will go some way to giving fans a better understanding about what the future may hold, if a situation ever arose that saw St Andrew’s put up for sale.
The legislation used for such listing decisions is new and complex. We wanted to make sure we got this right, so I hope those seeking the listing understand why it has taken some time to reach this point.”