The campaign to keep Brentford Football Club in the area will be entering two candidates for Chiswick seats in the forthcoming local elections.

ABeeC, a group of Brentford FC supporters, will be contesting two local wards in the May elections. David Merritt is contesting the Chiswick Riverside and Andrew Wainwright will be standing for Turnham Green.

The aim of the candidacies is to give new momentum to the campaign for a locally based arena. Their home since 1904, Griffin Park, is threatened with redevelopment and alternatives in the area such as a new arena in Feltham have failed to make progress. Without a permanent residence in the borough the club may be forced to ground-share with another team.


Griffin Park an outdated ground likely to be redeveloped into housing

Paul Davis, a member of the campaign said, "Our aim is to let as many people in the borough know about our plight and our campaign, hence why we're standing in said wards. We're not standing against any party in particular. The electorate may decide that those candidates supportive of our aims will get at least one of their votes."

The campaign have been frustrated with the response of the local council to the plight of their team and accused Council leader John Connelly of being a "control freak" for advising Labour councillors not to respond to their questionnaire.

Brentford are currently riding high under the management of former Manchester Utd and England star Steve Coppell with promotion to the First Division looking a distinct possibility this season. Goals from Ben Burgess and Lloyd Owusu have helped make them the top scorers in the division. The club has a significant fan base in Chiswick and has been very active in the community, holding events to encourage younger fans to get involved in sport. A recent survey showed the club to have the best record for crowd behaviour of any London club.

The club is soon to be controlled by a not-for-profit group with stakes held by supporters, the community and local businesses.

Local Government Home Page

11th April 2005