Charlton Athletic Supporter’s Trust is delighted to announce that the Valley has been designated an Asset of Community Value.
Royal Borough of Greenwich Council today confirmed acceptance of the Trust’s application under the 2011 Localism Act.
As an ACV, should the owner of the Valley wish to sell it, he must notify the local authority. Once the local authority has been notified of the owner’s intent to sell, they are required to update the list to reflect the owner’s intention; inform the nominating community group and publicise these matters in the neighbourhood of the asset in question. Community interest groups then have six weeks to lodge a non-binding expression of interest, in which case a window of opportunity of a further four and a half months - making a total of six months - will come into effect. This will give communities more time to develop a bid and raise the necessary capital for the purchase.
A number of football club stadia have already been designated ACVs, including Old Trafford and Anfield, and many more such applications are expected. These decisions reflect an understanding that, as the Secretary of State, Eric Pickles said , “Football stadiums are not only the heart and soul of every team, they are rooted in and loved by the neighbourhoods that surround them.”
Few stadia have a recent history which resonates with this statement as has The Valley. In 1985 supporters were stunned to receive a written statement distributed before a game, announcing that future games would be played at the stadium of bitter rivals Crystal Palace. The move proved catastrophic, and new directors and fans worked hand in hand to return the club to the Valley in 1992, and embark on a period of success for the Club unparalleled in recent times.
“The designation of the Valley as ACV hopefully ensures that this infamous “Message to our Supporters” cannot be repeated in the future” said Barnie Razzell, the Trust chairman. “Fans will now have a right in law to participate in any discussion about the future of football at the Valley”
Mr Razzell was quick to acknowledge the broad support the Trust has received for its application. “We were pleased that the Club was quick to lend its support for our application” he said “and we have received brilliant advice and support at every stage from Supporters Direct, who have led the drive to have stadia up and down the country designated as ACVs.”
The Trust’s application has been supported by a petition signed by 1,900 fans, reflecting the special importance many of the fans attach to the Valley as the home of Charlton Athletic.
“It is our hope that we will not ever have to use the ACV legislation” said Mr Razzell
“The Valley is an ACV because the fans, the Club and the Council all agree on its importance. In football as in life, nothing is forever but this great news means that we, the fans, can be part of any discussion about the future of Charlton Athletic Football Club”.
Notes for editors
Charlton Athletic Supporters Trust was formally set on December 5th 2012 the 20th anniversary of the Charlton’s return to the Valley, and now has more than 800 members. The Trust seeks to give fans a rational and sober voice in the dialogue of how to make CAFC successful in the financially challenging world of modern football
Supporters Direct represents over 180 supporters trusts’ and similar organisations across Europe, with over 400,000 members
It promotes the value of supporter and community involvement in the ownership and running of clubs, enabling supporters’ trusts to secure influence and become a constructive voice in how their club is run.
Barnie Razzell (CAS Trust chair): email@example.com
Kevin Rye (Supporters Direct): Kevin.Rye@supporters-direct.coop