Vast majority back ground move

The Dulwich Hamlet Supporters’ Trust are backing plans for the redevelopment of the Ryman Premier club's Champion Hill home.

The DHST formally announced its support this week for the redevelopment proposals submitted by the south London club's owners at the Hadley Property Group to build a modern stadium on land next to their current ground and 55 new homes, ranging from studio apartments to four-bedroomed houses, on Champion Hill.

In a statement announcing their support, the DHST said an unequivocal 94 per cent of members who voted in a special poll gave the green light to the move to secure the club's long term sustainability.

The plans involve putting the club into supporter ownership and DHST chairman Duncan Hart said: "We have an agreement in principle with the owners of Champion Hill for the club to be put into fan ownership. This would put an end to the constant speculation around the club's existence.

"It puts the club in the hands of those who love it and cherish their local community. If the new ground is approved, the transition to fan ownership presents far fewer risks. It would provide the club, and the local community, a fantastic facility to grow from."

The DHST are hoping Hamlet will soon be operating as Community Benefits Society, the model commonly used for supporter owned clubs, with the help of Supporters Direct.

DHST vice-chair Darren McCreery, added: "The plans submitted have been developed in partnership with DHST to provide the best possible solution on this challenging site. The new facility and the club being owned by its supporters is a fantastic chance to secure the club's future for years to come.

"DHST will therefore be campaigning in the coming months to ensure that Dulwich Hamlet Football Club, a vital community asset, has the bright future it deserves."

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