This afternoon we welcome the supporters, officials and playing staff of Derby County. It is almost thirty years since the sides last played each other at the Abbey Stadium. There is also a link between the clubs from that period. The Main Stand extension was financed through the sale of then fans favourite Alan Biley to Derby in 1979 for a then club record fee.
Today, we are celebrating the return of the Abbey Stadium back into the ownership of the club. It was a scenario many hoped would happen but never really felt would do so. Even now I am still pinching myself to make sure it’s not a dream. When the ground was originally sold it broke the hearts of so many supporters. It also began the long and difficult fight to save the club. There were many difficult days during that period. It would take many years, the financial support & practical help of so many individuals during those days to get the club back to position we are in now.
Personally, I have always felt a guilt during this time. A feeling that I had let down those who had previously worked so hard to move the club through the local amateur leagues to the brink of the Premiership. Now that feeling has been lifted from my shoulders. We can now all once again move forwards positively and confidently calling the Abbey Stadium our home
We have to thank Paul, Mark and Adam for providing the opportunity to purchase the ground back. We also have to thank Grosvenor who have shown a great deal of support and flexibility towards the club during their time as landlords. Probably far more than we could ever have expected and far more than they needed to provide us.
We no longer need to look backwards. Our destiny is in all our hands. We all need to learn from history, ensure we are never again in that position again and work towards a successful future.
Today, is about celebrating the re-repurchase. It is also the beginning of a exciting new chapter in the story of Cambridge United
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