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Work continues at Meadow Park as Gloucester City continue to build towards a return home

The season may be over for the players but not for the staff behind closed doors. There is still plenty of work going on at Gloucester City but it’s work with their hands that is the priority now, not work with their feet.

The Meadow Park rebuild now has Gloucester’s 100% attention as the suspension of football for the foreseeable future may have handed the club an extra amount of time to get the stadium finished before the start of next season.

Although due to current restrictions with social distancing there are fewer people on-site and less construction workers at a time, the stadium is still being built at a steady pace.

Yesterday on his weekly blog updating Tigers fans on the rebuild Co-chairman Alex Petherham (AP) had this touching message:

“We’re building this ground for every single supporter, that’s supported this great club, that’s watched us home and away for years and years that won’t get to see us return home. But return home we will, and your family will be able to remember you at Meadow Park.

I’ll be raising a glass on our opening game to all the supporters that have loved this club over the years and didn’t get to see return home.”

As we creep into week 7 of the nationwide lockdown and people may be starting to run out of things to do that is not the case over at Meadow Park, it has been a very productive week. The metal treads on the Brian and Eamonn stand have been finished and the concrete foundations for the new shipping containers has also been poured.

The stands are starting to take shape

AP is following a similar approach to Salford City with the shipping containers in a bid to try something new.

” I’ve been asked what the shipping containers are for… they will be stacked three high and three wide, so nine behind each stand (Brian and Eamonn). The bottom three on the Brian stand (nearest Submeadow Road) will be a store, a bin store and cycle shed for 32 bikes. The next row is lockers / changing area including toilets for when the 3G is booked. The top three will be fitted out as club offices / boxes if needed. The end goal is to glass front them, so they have pitch views. The same as Saltford City did, which is where I got the idea from. “

The new stadium is something that fans have been clamouring for ever since it was flooded back in 2007. The Tigers have been playing games in a host of different stadiums since then, sharing with the likes of Cheltenham and Evesham in recent years.

Some fans have even gone the extra mile to raise money for the rebuild. At the end of last month life long Gloucester City fan, Mark East ran a full marathon (26.2 miles) in his back garden to raise money. The proceeds were split 50/50 between Gloucester City and the NHS. With a target of £1000 set East ran his marathon and now as the donations have stopped pouring in the Gloucester based fan managed to raise a huge £4640 to be split between the two.

The club have had to face some issues in recent weeks with certain businesses being closed. The 3G pitch is not yet able to be manufactured due to quarries being closed and the floodlight manufacturers have also closed for the time being.

Before signing off AP did give the fans an update of what is going on behind closed doors as the club try to gear up for next season.

” As for the 2020/21 season …. We don’t even have a budget agreed yet, as we don’t know when football will return … Let’s face it, we don’t know anything! But gambling is something I won’t be doing with my money, nor will Eamonn or Steve, said Petherham.

” We as a board also won’t be putting the club at risk, other than the ground we have no debt and the ground debt is a personal one to myself and Eamonn, not via a bank or any other source. We’ve all worked and fought too hard to gamble it away now! I accept some people won’t like these statements, but sadly that’s also life

Throughout last season Gloucester City fans were worried that Meadow Park may not be ready in time for the start of the 2020/21 campaign but now with the current halt on sports the fans will be starting to worry they may have a shiny new stadium but with no football available to be played in it.

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