|Fears Raised Over Twyford Avenue Ground's Future|
Professional rugby team's move to Coventry raises dilemma for Wasps
There's uncertainty over the future of Acton based amateur rugby club Wasps FC - after the announcement that the premiership club it's affiliated with - is moving to Coventry.
The professional, who include England stars such as James Haskell and Joe Launchbury in their ranks, were based in Acton and it is understood they paid the amateur side of the club, which owns the ground, an annual rent for the facilities which included pitches, changing rooms and a gym.
Wasps FC was formed in 1867. The professional side became London Wasps in 1999 and reverted to Wasps RFC in the summer of 2014. Twyford Avenue is home to senior men's teams, a ladies squad which includes some recent World Cup winners and a hugely popular minis and youth section.
The professionals currently play in Adams Park in High Wycombe but have been given the go ahead to buy a stake in the Ricoh Arena and play home matches there starting in December - 80 miles from their current ground.
In their announcement they state that they will continue to be based in Acton until the end of this season 'before a decision is taken on Wasps training facilities in Coventry and Warwickshire during the 2015/16 season.'
There has been a hugely negative reaction to the move from former players and current season ticket holders including England World Cup winner Simon Shaw.
The large site occupied by the club would have a huge value if it could be redeveloped and it is believed that plans are being made for housing on the north east corner of the site behind Rosemont Road, on former tennis courts which don't belong to the club.
Chairman of Wasps FC, Richard Green, has today (9/10) released a statement and is positive about their future:
'' Soon we will celebrate our 150th anniversary, and our club is in very good shape. We wholly own 23 acres of prime West London sports field, we have recently made major capital investment in our sporting infrastructure, we have strong finances, a huge membership, a wide volunteer base and robust leadership... This corner of London flies black and yellow with more pride than ever, and will continue to do so for many years to come. Come and see for yourself.''
8th October 2014