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Middlesex looking for a second ground
Posted by: Jonathan Winsky (IP Logged)
Date: 23 July, 2018 20:25

The most newsworthy comment made by Richard Goatley when he joined Kevin Hand in the BBC commentary box today appears to have been Goatley saying that Middlesex are looking for a second ground. It seems that the intention is for this ground to serve two purposes, which will for the 1st XI to play matches there which cannot be fitted into the ever-expanding schedule at Lord’s, and for the club to use as a community base, which I assume means that coaching sessions for various groups can take place there, and that we can finally make revenue from hiring out our facilities like every other county seems to be able to do.

Goatley says that “supporters will love it” and that he hopes this ground will be near Lord’s. It had better be near Lord’s or at least somewhere central, as I imagine that many of our supporters are very much attached to the location of Lord's and the fact we get to play at Lord’s, which means that there would be lots of uproar if this ground was to be located somewhere not central or somewhere outside Middlesex, and it could result in a drop in membership. Then again, if this ground was to be somewhere not central or outside the county, then there is bound to be a few supporters to whom the ground will be nearer compared to Lord’s, so said supporters would be happy. The only thing is that I have no idea where this ground will be, as we will have to either put a lot of work into converting an existing ground into one suitable for our requirements, or we will have to find a lot of land to build a new ground from scratch.

By my reckoning, the nearest Middlesex County Cricket League grounds to Lord’s are Hampstead and Brondesbury.

The reason why the demand on Lord’s is increasing is that the World Cup will take place in 2019 and the 100-ball tournament (or whatever it will be) will start the following year, England are set to continue playing two Test matches there each summer for at least the next few years, and the final of the ICC Test Championship may take place there at some point. Therefore the need for another ground seems urgent, although surely it will take a few years for it to be ready.

I am not sure if this second ground will spell the end of our use of some of our present outgrounds, or whether it will end the possibility of us returning to Southgate, which we have apparently been in talks about doing.

Re: Middlesex looking for a second ground
Posted by: freddie tittlemouse (IP Logged)
Date: 23 July, 2018 20:42

Finding land available close to central London would be virtually impossible unless it is an existing cricket ground.

Re: Middlesex looking for a second ground
Posted by: adelaide (IP Logged)
Date: 23 July, 2018 21:43

Isn't South Hampstead fairly close too?

I do wonder whether Richard was thinking aloud or whether this really is now the policy of the club as a whole. I really can't see this as likely to come to fruition. It has to be land available for recreational use if it is within London or indeed anywhere near Lord's. Even for an existing cricket ground, local residents are likely to resist regular Middlesex matches in their vicinity.

A cynic might wonder if this is a bone thrown to placate supporters who are unhappy with other aspects of how the club is going. Or if is designed to pressure existing outgrounds into making deals. Or as warning shot to MCC that their members may have less cricket to watch (a second home would surely mean renegotiation of the deal with MCC in any case). That's all probably untrue and unfair but with all the machinations and double dealing around the Hundred its i hard to know who if anyone in the game is being entirely straightforward without a hidden agenda.

On money, playing fewer Middlesex matches at Lord's on a permanent basis would presumably mean a renegotiation of the deal with MCC.

Finally, where does the money spent on Radlett fit into this? I realise that Radlett is unlikely to be able to host CC matches but I thought it was used a lot for training.



Adelaide

Re: Middlesex looking for a second ground
Posted by: chunkyinargyll (IP Logged)
Date: 23 July, 2018 21:56

It needs to be somewhere on The Middlesex Line (AKA Metropolitan). Anywhere adjacent to Harrow on the Hill would be good. Once you go down one of the branches it makes journeys more awkward for people living on the other branch.

What are we looking for? Ground capable of holding up to 6,000 (I think Uxbridge takes 4,000) with one or two permanent stands, and better toilet and eating facilities you get at a normal outground. But then you have the problem of it being underused, because presumably it would have similar running costs to somewhere like Chelmsford, but still not really be the county ground.

The really brave option would be to tell the MCC where to go, and build a 12,000 seat ground (ok you'd lose out on 28,000 at Lords for a couple of T20's, but the income would all be ours.

Can't see it in my lifetime. Would we really be that brave, and how many Middlesex 'supporters' only are because of MCC and Lords?

Re: Middlesex looking for a second ground
Posted by: adelaide (IP Logged)
Date: 23 July, 2018 22:58

Chunky

The Piccadilly Line has far more of a claim to being the Middlesex line, given its length and (looking at recent outgrounds) Uxbridge is at one end and Southgate near the other. Of course a ground near one end of the line is not popular with the majority who don't live near it but why should that be any different for a ground on the Metropolitan (as Uxbridge also is?).


Adelaide

Re: Middlesex looking for a second ground
Posted by: Bring back the Crusaders (IP Logged)
Date: 24 July, 2018 00:40

I just hope any future second home is within the old boundaries of Middlesex - not Berkshire or Bucks or some other outpost like Milton Keynes
It a shame we cant do a deal with the owners of the Artillery Ground - from memory the capacity is small but with investment it could be enlarged (subject to planning permission)

Re: Middlesex looking for a second ground
Posted by: fivestar (IP Logged)
Date: 24 July, 2018 06:16

Rumours are we moving to Sheen common. You’ll all say never but my intel suggests a high level of activity!

Re: Middlesex looking for a second ground
Posted by: chunkyinargyll (IP Logged)
Date: 24 July, 2018 06:34

That's Hancock territory!

I assume they want an existing ground, as finding an empty space with planning permission won't be easy, but not many club grounds are big enough (not only the playing area, but room for parking, crowds, and room for new buildings).

Trying to find somewhere near central London won't be at all easy, but once you start moving further out you will please some, and infuriate others.

Most will take public transport to a game, as parking charges are astronomical, so it does need to be somewhere reasonably near a tube station.

I thought Harrow might be good, because supporters from Bucks can get in on Chiltern Railways, and Bakerloo (Harrow and Wealdstone) would be alternative to the Met, opening up easy access for Herts.

But, wherever it is won't be entirely satisfactory.

Re: Middlesex looking for a second ground
Posted by: BeefyRoberts (IP Logged)
Date: 24 July, 2018 09:02

I think using a club/ground already built would be the best option.
Planning permission to build from scratch would obviously take time,objections raised (If any) by residents as well.
Once built,a newly laid wicket would take,I don't know,a couple of years to be ready to play on?
And,importantly,us,the membership,where would we want the new location,as where ever the club chooses,won't be everyone's personal choice!
Would the second ground have naming rights?
An interesting time ahead for our club.

I didn't hear Richards interview,as at the game yesterday,did he say A newly built ground,or upgrading an already used outground?

Re: Middlesex looking for a second ground
Posted by: chunkyinargyll (IP Logged)
Date: 24 July, 2018 11:13

Beefy- The implication was it was much more likely to be an existing ground (but presumably not one of our existing outgrounds)

Re: Middlesex looking for a second ground
Posted by: adelaide (IP Logged)
Date: 24 July, 2018 11:50

Quote:
fivestar
Rumours are we moving to Sheen common. You’ll all say never but my intel suggests a high level of activity!

That would be Sheen Common, owned by the National Trust (so difficult to build on), on the edge of Richmond Park and a long way from any public transport, let alone the tube.

One minor detail - isn't it in pre-1965 Surrey rather than pre-1965 Middlesex?



Adelaide

Re: Middlesex looking for a second ground
Posted by: Seaxe_Man (IP Logged)
Date: 25 July, 2018 07:29

From recall the actual words used by CEO Richard Goatley on this subject at the recent Forum ....were...

' we are employing a surveyor to look for a ground site, for a second first class in an arc between Brent Cross and Richmond along the North Circular Road'.

The nearest point to Lords being Brent Cross. However unlikely to find any such site in that area.

Prospects I suspect pick up from Hangar Lane onwards.

It will have to tick boxes for public transport definitely.

A plus bonus would be it would form the vital fifth revenue stream currently lacking, in being able to generate cash off season by hiring the ground out..

Specified as a Community Ground, it should then qualify us for grants from Sport England, Heritage Lottery and ECB to get the project up and running.

And being a bit more prudent with our current cash would be helpful.

Re: Middlesex looking for a second ground
Posted by: Bagpuss (IP Logged)
Date: 25 July, 2018 07:41

Word is you're moving to the island of Lewis.

It's happening...

😉

Re: Middlesex looking for a second ground
Posted by: Seaxe_Man (IP Logged)
Date: 25 July, 2018 07:53

Adelaide: the New Agreement break clause is being operated by the MCC at the conclusion of 2018 I believe, regardless of MX seeking a new ground.

The logic being over the next six year period the Lords Cricket Ground will be heavily involved in staging World Cup, Ashes and 100 ball matches.

So, with MX presence less, they do not wish to continue paying us an average of 15/16 grand a day when we ain't gonna be there.

The Agreement worth 200 grand a season to MX ain't a good deal for us anyway and needed to include a bonus for T20 sellouts and a booze percentage.

We have lost money year on year since its inception to prove the point. Needs a much firmer re-negotiation IMHO.

In addition, the deal when struck, our playing time was six championship matches, since increased to seven, three T20's since increased to five. But with no extra dosh for The Middle.

The T20 sellouts must gross anything up to 800grand times five: work it out for yourself.

So far, 27000 plus versus the Mexicans and 22/23000 versus The Cidermen.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 25/07/2018 07:59 by Seaxe_Man.

Re: Middlesex looking for a second ground
Posted by: Jack Hearne (IP Logged)
Date: 25 July, 2018 08:07

Quote:
chunkyinargyll
Can't see it in my lifetime. Would we really be that brave, and how many Middlesex 'supporters' only are because of MCC and Lords?

This might be an interesting realisation that there may be more natural Middlesex members than currently suspected.

Re: Middlesex looking for a second ground
Posted by: freddie tittlemouse (IP Logged)
Date: 25 July, 2018 10:56

Quote:
chunkyinargyll
That's Hancock territory!
I assume they want an existing ground, as finding an empty space with planning permission won't be easy, but not many club grounds are big enough (not only the playing area, but room for parking, crowds, and room for new buildings).

Trying to find somewhere near central London won't be at all easy, but once you start moving further out you will please some, and infuriate others.

Most will take public transport to a game, as parking charges are astronomical, so it does need to be somewhere reasonably near a tube station.


I thought Harrow might be good, because supporters from Bucks can get in on Chiltern Railways, and Bakerloo (Harrow and Wealdstone) would be alternative to the Met, opening up easy access for Herts.

But, wherever it is won't be entirely satisfactory.

Hancock was in East Cheam, not East Sheen. And Sheen is sarf of the river. No way.

Wormwood scrubs?

Re: Middlesex looking for a second ground
Posted by: adelaide (IP Logged)
Date: 25 July, 2018 12:23

SM - All the more reason to suppose this "announcement" via Kevin Hand's interview is part of the negotiating process.

Not sure which way the number of CC matches played at Lord's works on the argument. I would imagine that they lose money, so playing one more at Lord's for the same money would actually work in our favour, wouldn't it? T20 is another matter and any hint that we might play all of those elsewhere would worry MCC on revenue grounds, I think. (It would be a terrible thing to do for the current T20 in many ways but who knows when it comes to the post-Hundred T20?)

Freddie - Wormwood Scrubs? Why not? I can just see the headlines - "Middlesex get out of jail". Presumably it would be difficult to put a decent size stadium here, or indeed on any Metropolitan Open Land.

We're told that the older shopping malls are not doing well and the plan to expand Brent Cross has been dropped. Knock it down and put the stadium there!


Adelaide

Re: Middlesex looking for a second ground
Posted by: dingy bags (IP Logged)
Date: 25 July, 2018 13:21

I am a bit surprised that people are treating this as news. It was stated at the AGM that we would be out of Lords for two months or more next year and that we needed to look elsewhere. We were even told that we might be called to an EGM about it towards the end of 2018.

Not surprising that the MCC want to re-look at the agreement with us.

As regards the 'new' outground, if it is not somewhere with an existing and decent square then it is years before we can play there, as Beefy says.

The MCC have their own issues - if the development of the Compton and Edrich goes ahead, they will lose the nursery ground for a while and will also be looking for an outground, so what are the odds on us being their tenants twice over?

Re: Middlesex looking for a second ground
Posted by: freddie tittlemouse (IP Logged)
Date: 25 July, 2018 13:23

Wormwood Scrubs was semi tongue in cheek. There is actually an athletics stadium there - the Linford Christie Lunchbox Stadium or some such which QPR were sniffing around some time ago but I'm not sure if there is space for a cricket ground and anyway our supporters with bulging wallets and bling would be slightly at risk in that particular area

Perhaps we should go into partnership with QPR to fund a joint shared location as they are anxious to escape from Loftus Road.

Re: Middlesex looking for a second ground
Posted by: Seaxe_Man (IP Logged)
Date: 25 July, 2018 15:16

Adelaide. I'm not convinced MCC lose any money on MX CC matches.

The hospitality side does well and with drinks at a fiver a pint and consumed all day, I am sure that subsidises the gate money which is still useful.

Plus it provides a further six days cricket for MCC members whose subscriptions have long been collected and banked. So a win win...

Can't see where MX make anything here under the NA. The extra six days under the daily average should generate another 100grand.It won't though...



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 26/07/2018 11:21 by Seaxe_Man.

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