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Coronavirus battle: Gloucester have back-up plan if ground not ready

coronavirus gloucester city

Gloucester City have confirmed they have a back-up plan in place to groundshare with Bath City if their new Meadow Park home is delayed by the coronavirus.

The Tigers have not played in Gloucester since their home was destroyed by the floods of 2007 and were on course to kick off at their new stadium at Meadow Park for the first time this summer before the public health crisis and football’s lockdown started to slow progress.

Work on the National League North club’s new 3,208 capacity ground with a 3G pitch begun in January, pictured, with their current groundshare at BetVictor Southern League Evesham United’s Jubilee Stadium due to expire in May and not up to new FA ground-grading stands coming in next season.

Oxford City and Kidderminster Harriers have also been considered as temporary hosts by the Tigers who’ve also confirmed they used the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme this week to furlough all their staff and players.

Gloucester City chairman Alex Petheram told fans that Bath’s Twerton Park was their first choice as a fall-back option and fifth temporary home in 13 years of exile after spells at Forest Green, Cirencester Town, Cheltenham Town and current landlords Evesham despite being 45 miles away.

Petheram said: “With the season still on pause and we’ve no idea what or even when anything will happen on that front, we’re very much in uncharted waters.

“We don’t know when we’ll be back to full speed ahead at Meadow Park and we don’t know if we’ll have to revert to our plan B.

“We have spoken to Bath City as an option if we’re delayed, but as we don’t even know when this season will end and how long we’ll be in ‘lockdown’, looking forward to next season would just be guessing.”

Make sure you get your copy of The Non-League Paper this week for all the latest news in one place on the impact of the coronavirus crisis on society and football’s fightback.

DREAM RETURN: An artist’s impression of the new Meadow Park

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Images courtesy of gloucestercityafc.com

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