The chairman of English Premier League soccer club Birmingham City, Peter Pannu has admitted that concerns over the club’s attendances may lead to a redevelopment of their current home stadium, St Andrew’s, rather than a move to a new stadium.
The club’s parent company, Birmingham International Holdings, has unveiled initial plans for a £20m (US$32.4m) revamp of the Garrison Lane stand at the 30,000-seat St Andrew’s.
Having held talks with Birmingham City Council about the possibility of moving to a new ground since Carson Yeung became the club’s owner in 2009, Pannu has now acknowledged that an average attendance of less than 25,000 does not justify moving to a significantly larger venue.
According to the Press Association, Pannu was quoted as saying: “We haven’t categorically ruled out moving stadia completely but my prime concern is attendances. Our average attendance does not justify building a stadium of 50,000 to 55,000 at this stage.”
He added: “We have ample support from the local authorities but, with current attendances, it is just not right to do that sort of investment. In any case, a lot of our fans want to stay put.”