Brentford Chairman Cliff Crown and club CEO Mark Devlin have given away a little more detail surrounding the club’s thinking regarding the possible need to move away from Griffin Park if and when Premier League fixtures become a reality.
Speaking at the fans’ forum on Thursday evening, Crown insisted that “Money is not our God” when describing how the club would make its decision as to whether to stay at our proud old home, or ground share, assuming, of course, that Mark Warburton guides Brentford to the top flight.
According to Mark Devlin, the club’s official position is that remaining at Griffin Park, and negotiating with the authorities as to what adaptations would be acceptable in the short term, with a new stadium scheduled to be opened in the medium term, is the right one. For example, it may be possible to barter the retention of terracing, bearing in mind the club are well en route to Lionel Road.
Hypothetical I know, but it’s important to be aware that our club have a clear growth plan in place in regard to updating its facilities… And remember, Fulham were allowed to keep terracing at Craven Cottage as an interim measure in exchange for an agreed upgrade strategy. Never say never.
Money may not be our God, but it is certainly a critical consideration. Nobody would argue the fact that Griffin Park is clearly ill equipped for top flight football and the bumper crowds that would flock to TW8, but in my view, if we were to reach the Prem, and Brentford are to rub shoulders with the very best in the land once more, then we should do so here, at our real home, surrounded by loyal fans and friends.
I don’t want our season in the Sun (if it did work out that way) to be at a rented, soulless stadium up the M4, or at the home of one of our fierce local rivals. Griffin Park deserves a fitting send off… Tradition and our celebrated sense of community and togetherness must win the day.
A lot of what is possible, or indeed what is not, will be decisions that, ultimately, are out of our hands – but from what I heard on Thursday evening at least – it would appear that in Cliff Crown and Matthew Benham, we have men aware that the club’s soul needs protecting whilst we expand the potential of our dreams.
The ‘Brentford way’ seems central to their thinking where at all possible and, as fans, we all must help them lobby for what’s right if that time comes.
It was also announced that a Memorial Gardens will be part of the redevelopment plans for Griffin Park… However, my idea of a Marcus Gayle Massive Memorial Fountain was ridiculed back in the pub afterwards by fellow member of the Beesotted crew.