The club are aware of the increasing uncertainty over our potential to return to the Riverside Stadium. For the sake of clarity we would like to appraise our supporters of the issues.
Firstly, we have been made aware that future flood insurance is either unlikely or will be so expensive it would be unaffordable. Secondly, we are unlikely to be able to construct appropriate flood defences for both environmental and financial reasons. As a consequence, any further investment at the Riverside would leave us susceptible to future flooding but without any insurance. Clearly that risk is too great to contemplate.
A further issue is that in our attempt to remove the silt deposits from the playing surface it became apparent that the pitch and surrounding areas are now contaminated with Japanese Knotweed. This weed is extremely virulent and difficult to eradicate.
As a result of the above issues, it would appear that the problems associated with an affordable and timely return to the Riverside are insurmountable. Whilst relocation would be a difficult and highly emotional outcome, it is hard to see any other potential resolution that would ensure the long term survival of the club.
Of course, it is important to note that a final and informed decision can only be taken when all potential options have been considered. This will require the involvement of all concerned and any recommendation by the Stute Board will be subject to the approval of club members.
Finally, we can assure everyone that the Stute Board will leave no stone unturned in our efforts to ensure the survival of this great club.