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AFC Wimbledon secures loan to complete stadium

EFL League One club AFC Wimbledon can complete work on its new stadium after securing a £4 million loan.

AFC Wimbledon has agreed the deal with MSP Capital, a property finance firm based in Dorset. The loan is a short-term, 18-month bridging loan of £4 million (plus a further allowance for fees and rolled-up interest).

This will be secured against the new stadium and guaranteed by AFCW PLC.

Chief Executive Joe Palmer said:

We don’t have to borrow all of it – it’s a facility that we can draw down in stages. In fact, it’s very much in our interests to carry on raising funds via our Plough Lane Bond, or via equity, and reduce the need to draw down on the loan.

I must stress the loan is solely for stadium work. Money will only be released against invoices clearly relevant to the construction project. Under no circumstances can any funds be transferred to other areas – like, for example, the playing budget.

The club needed to make up an £11 million shortfall to move into their new 9,000-seater home, which will cost over £30 million in total.

The Dons have been able to raise £7.5 million via the Plough Lane Bond and crowdfunding campaign, while local businessman Nick Robertson also invested £2.5 million.

Designed by KSS and being built by Buckingham Group, AFC Wimbledon’s new home will feature:

  • Its own pub which will be open seven days a week and which the local community can use during normal licensing hours;
  • A fan zone, which can be accessed from all stands, so fans can meet before, during and after games, no matter where they’re sat;
  • The largest conferencing suite in the borough – capable of seating 500 guests;
  • A museum charting the history of the club with tours available for the wider community;
  • A 9,000 capacity which can eventually expand to 20,000 by connecting all four corners to create a dramatic bowl-shaped arena.

The main West Stand will have four tiers (including the ground floor), with media facilities, camera gantries and 12 glass-fronted executive boxes looking down on to the pitch. The players’ tunnel will lead out from the centre of the stand, with the managers’ technical areas either side.

There will be food concessions and bar kiosks scattered throughout for supporters who don’t want to congregate in the fans’ zone – and there’ll be a greatly-expanded club shop packed with souvenirs and mementos.