Watford forced to close East Stand

Watford forced to close East Stand

Watford forced to close East Stand

First published in Local Sport by

Watford have closed the East Stand amid safety concerns.

The club have also announced delays to the development of the south-west corner of the ground.

The south-west corner, which is due to house the changing rooms, a media suite, the players' tunnel, a lounge for the managers' and players' media and a match control centre, was due to be handed over by Kia, the construction company, in September. But that has now been put back until mid-January.

"Our contractors face certain difficulties in working around football and rugby fixture schedules," said Gareth Jones, Group Director of Development for Origin Housing Group.

"As well as this the day-to-day demands placed on the stadium has taken its toll on the anticipated timescales we set ourselves to ready the structures."

The closure of the East Stand has forced the club to relocate 384 season-ticket holders and created doubts as to where the players will change next season.

The club are currently seeking approval from the council to use the stand for continued use of the media seating, dug-outs and old Directors' seating area until which time the south-west corner can be occupied.

Said chairman Graham Simpson: "The timing of the news is unfortunate but we take our responsibilities for the safety of all persons seriously and we will not willingly compromise these principles "Closure of our oldest stand was inevitable; however the decision to do so earlier than planned has not been taken lightly.

"Given our desire to continue the building programme in the south-west corner and the small numbers of season ticket holders remaining in the East Stand we felt it most effective to take the decision to close the area with immediate effect.

"Of course, much of this has been unforeseen due to the delays in the south-west corner, but nonetheless we are apologetic to those supporters who have been affected by this news."

Comments (25)

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10:07am Thu 31 Jul 08

stu_s says...

Didn't you tell us last week that construction had been halted due to financial reasons Kevin ?? tut-Tut ... Any chance of a hands up I misunderstood the situation AGAIN Kevin ????? Was it really to hard to pop around and see if people were working ....
Didn't you tell us last week that construction had been halted due to financial reasons Kevin ?? tut-Tut ... Any chance of a hands up I misunderstood the situation AGAIN Kevin ????? Was it really to hard to pop around and see if people were working .... stu_s
  • Score: 0

1:21pm Thu 31 Jul 08

Billie says...

Stu...what is it with you?
So it's KAs fault that no-one anticipated football and rugby fixtures at the Vic? So it's KAs fault that WFC prioritised £50 odd mil ahead of making the stand safe? And GS's quote that 'given our desire to continue to the building program in the SW corner...we decided to close the area with immediate effect', does seem strange. I would have thought the decisions were not interdependent. The closure is presumably because a safety certificate has not been granted.
Clearly KA's story...which would not have been printed without a source, is now within days proven partly right. GS is hardly going to coroborate the WO story when they have just threatened legal action is he?
Why don't you stop making a fool of yourself with your vindictive nonsense.
Stu...what is it with you? So it's KAs fault that no-one anticipated football and rugby fixtures at the Vic? So it's KAs fault that WFC prioritised £50 odd mil ahead of making the stand safe? And GS's quote that 'given our desire to continue to the building program in the SW corner...we decided to close the area with immediate effect', does seem strange. I would have thought the decisions were not interdependent. The closure is presumably because a safety certificate has not been granted. Clearly KA's story...which would not have been printed without a source, is now within days proven partly right. GS is hardly going to coroborate the WO story when they have just threatened legal action is he? Why don't you stop making a fool of yourself with your vindictive nonsense. Billie
  • Score: 0

1:21pm Thu 31 Jul 08

graybags says...

I think that the only construction work that Kia do is cars in Korea ! Given that most of the article was a verbatim repeat of Graham Simpsons statement you could at least have got this fact correct.........try Kier.
I think that the only construction work that Kia do is cars in Korea ! Given that most of the article was a verbatim repeat of Graham Simpsons statement you could at least have got this fact correct.........try Kier. graybags
  • Score: 0

2:43pm Thu 31 Jul 08

WFC4ever says...

Rous Stand for me then!
Rous Stand for me then! WFC4ever
  • Score: 0

4:17pm Thu 31 Jul 08

andy710 says...

wfc do not give a monkeys about the fans, because there are only 300 fans left in the main stand, they have more than likely shut it to be cost effective, once they knock the stand down, i would not be surprised to see the erection of a Blackpool stand. In my eyes Simspson is an utter !!!! and he should just go fourth and multiply. Saviour of this club, do me a favour you muppet!
wfc do not give a monkeys about the fans, because there are only 300 fans left in the main stand, they have more than likely shut it to be cost effective, once they knock the stand down, i would not be surprised to see the erection of a Blackpool stand. In my eyes Simspson is an utter !!!! and he should just go fourth and multiply. Saviour of this club, do me a favour you muppet! andy710
  • Score: 0

5:31pm Thu 31 Jul 08

colni zip says...

So the shambles continues. East Stand money squandered on god knows what, then East Stand closed. Face it chaps, we are going to face the next three seasons at least with a three sided stadium.

You couldn't make this up.

And for all you "coincidence theorists" out there then consider this.

I think the ground will be sold just to keep the club in business. Moreover, i then expect the club, at some stage in the next year or two, to relocate and ground share with another club somewhere within a twenty mile radius. Vicarage road will then be knocked down completely , pathing the way for yet more "key worker" housing.

Lets face it, the real estate business doesn't take no for an answer. And it would please the majority of the local residents, not to mention watford council and the Police.

I truly believe the days of watching WFC in Watford are numbered. We should have listened to GT ten years ago when he talked about developing a new stadium.

As much as i would hate for this scenario to become reality, i've got a gut feeling that it will.

The legacy of our current board will not be a positve one, of that i am sure.
So the shambles continues. East Stand money squandered on god knows what, then East Stand closed. Face it chaps, we are going to face the next three seasons at least with a three sided stadium. You couldn't make this up. And for all you "coincidence theorists" out there then consider this. I think the ground will be sold just to keep the club in business. Moreover, i then expect the club, at some stage in the next year or two, to relocate and ground share with another club somewhere within a twenty mile radius. Vicarage road will then be knocked down completely , pathing the way for yet more "key worker" housing. Lets face it, the real estate business doesn't take no for an answer. And it would please the majority of the local residents, not to mention watford council and the Police. I truly believe the days of watching WFC in Watford are numbered. We should have listened to GT ten years ago when he talked about developing a new stadium. As much as i would hate for this scenario to become reality, i've got a gut feeling that it will. The legacy of our current board will not be a positve one, of that i am sure. colni zip
  • Score: 0

7:48pm Thu 31 Jul 08

Worrier says...

It is a normal issue that causes delay,especially in arena`s.

"`tis the jaundiced eye that sees all things yellow"

marlowe ,I believe.
It is a normal issue that causes delay,especially in arena`s. "`tis the jaundiced eye that sees all things yellow" marlowe ,I believe. Worrier
  • Score: 0

8:07pm Thu 31 Jul 08

Hornet Cornet says...

we're doomed
we're doomed Hornet Cornet
  • Score: 0

8:33pm Thu 31 Jul 08

Chris the Vic says...

Stu with people like you around the mismanagement will think that supporters blame KA for everything and not GS and his overpaid merry men.

Yet again they chalk up another disaster and did we not know of this last May when we were told the contractors were struggling with underground problems.

Now we are close to having a ground that reflects last years style of football.

Can any of you remember the Taylor years with Eddie Plumley. The team got better and better...the ground, the facilities and backroom got better and better. But hey they were professionals.

I wonder what the lasting legacy of this shower will be...GS got it right then totally got it wrong...or am I missing something and somewhere they have got something right?

and now the upstart has lost his licence...sell Tommy Smith and buy a chauffeur....oops that could be positive maybe the chauffeur would make a good chief executive
Stu with people like you around the mismanagement will think that supporters blame KA for everything and not GS and his overpaid merry men. Yet again they chalk up another disaster and did we not know of this last May when we were told the contractors were struggling with underground problems. Now we are close to having a ground that reflects last years style of football. Can any of you remember the Taylor years with Eddie Plumley. The team got better and better...the ground, the facilities and backroom got better and better. But hey they were professionals. I wonder what the lasting legacy of this shower will be...GS got it right then totally got it wrong...or am I missing something and somewhere they have got something right? and now the upstart has lost his licence...sell Tommy Smith and buy a chauffeur....oops that could be positive maybe the chauffeur would make a good chief executive Chris the Vic
  • Score: 0

8:43pm Thu 31 Jul 08

JonBoy says...

Good job we've got plenty of money to do this work! I mean if you were cynical you might suggest that citing builders delays was all spin to cover up a financial mess. Now we know our beloved club would never spin and would always tell the whole truth don't we?
Good job we've got plenty of money to do this work! I mean if you were cynical you might suggest that citing builders delays was all spin to cover up a financial mess. Now we know our beloved club would never spin and would always tell the whole truth don't we? JonBoy
  • Score: 0

8:55pm Thu 31 Jul 08

WFC4ever says...

Actually it is to do with Health and safety...so it is said but then why is not any less unsafe that a few months ago!?

Actually it is to do with Health and safety...so it is said but then why is not any less unsafe that a few months ago!? WFC4ever
  • Score: 0

8:58pm Thu 31 Jul 08

Hornet Cornet says...

It's a sad sad state of affairs when the main topic of discussion is whether we actually believe anything coming out of that club any more. The problem is, it's the board and muppetroyd who have created this mess. None of it is the fans fault yet it's us feeling miserable while the ivory towers execs at the club coin it in. It is indeed sad.

It's a sad sad state of affairs when the main topic of discussion is whether we actually believe anything coming out of that club any more. The problem is, it's the board and muppetroyd who have created this mess. None of it is the fans fault yet it's us feeling miserable while the ivory towers execs at the club coin it in. It is indeed sad. Hornet Cornet
  • Score: 0

9:32pm Thu 31 Jul 08

VoR says...

Read and digest......If your capable!
Read and digest......If your capable! VoR
  • Score: 0

9:35pm Thu 31 Jul 08

Vicar Rage says...

So the builders are struggling to work around football and rugby fixtures?

Just exactly how many of those have there been since mid-May then? They surely must have been well behind schedule a couple of months ago, as there has not been a game of any sort to make the situation any worse through the summer.

Yet go and look at the club website (because there are those on here who tell us the club never lie). There is a story on there dated July 2 (I think), which is bigging up how well the work is progressing and how things will be forging ahead during the summer.

So, what the hell has happened in the four weeks since then?

Was that story a load of cobblers? Or have the club known about these problems for a while and just done nothing? Or could it be that the work really was progressing until something happened to stop the workers - as suggested in the WO last week?

Whatever it is, if we're this far behind now, I wouldn't have a great deal of hope for the January ahdnover or any other part of this scheme.

Still, at least they finished that new directors box with its plush seats off ages ago. Got to look after number one.
So the builders are struggling to work around football and rugby fixtures? Just exactly how many of those have there been since mid-May then? They surely must have been well behind schedule a couple of months ago, as there has not been a game of any sort to make the situation any worse through the summer. Yet go and look at the club website (because there are those on here who tell us the club never lie). There is a story on there dated July 2 (I think), which is bigging up how well the work is progressing and how things will be forging ahead during the summer. So, what the hell has happened in the four weeks since then? Was that story a load of cobblers? Or have the club known about these problems for a while and just done nothing? Or could it be that the work really was progressing until something happened to stop the workers - as suggested in the WO last week? Whatever it is, if we're this far behind now, I wouldn't have a great deal of hope for the January ahdnover or any other part of this scheme. Still, at least they finished that new directors box with its plush seats off ages ago. Got to look after number one. Vicar Rage
  • Score: 0

9:47pm Thu 31 Jul 08

Vicar Rage says...

Here's a link to the story on the club site (quick, before they censor their own site!):

http://www.watfordfc
.premiumtv.co.uk/pag
e/Stadium/0,,10400~1
334081,00.html

It says, categorically, in the first paragraph "Contractors at Watford's Vicarage Road Stadium have been able to continue with redevelopment work during the close season." It talks about things "taking shape".

That was on July 2. So, what happened in the subsequent 28 days that has put the work so many months behind?

I know - it has to be Kevin Affleck's fault. He's been creeping in there at night and hiding their shovels.
Here's a link to the story on the club site (quick, before they censor their own site!): http://www.watfordfc .premiumtv.co.uk/pag e/Stadium/0,,10400~1 334081,00.html It says, categorically, in the first paragraph "Contractors at Watford's Vicarage Road Stadium have been able to continue with redevelopment work during the close season." It talks about things "taking shape". That was on July 2. So, what happened in the subsequent 28 days that has put the work so many months behind? I know - it has to be Kevin Affleck's fault. He's been creeping in there at night and hiding their shovels. Vicar Rage
  • Score: 0

10:53pm Thu 31 Jul 08

Hornet Cornet says...

The Cornet is predicting dreadful attendances at The Vic this season.
The Cornet is predicting dreadful attendances at The Vic this season. Hornet Cornet
  • Score: 0

8:28am Fri 1 Aug 08

VoR says...

Yes Cornet I too predict bad attendances, because of the credit crunch !
Yes Cornet I too predict bad attendances, because of the credit crunch ! VoR
  • Score: 0

9:57am Fri 1 Aug 08

Hugh says...

Just wondering, I rushed to buy my WO this morning expecting to see the latest developments following last weeks story and the Watford response but there is nothing? Is this because of the legal situation or some other reason? Not trying to stir up trouble but it would be nice if we could have some clarification. I've emailed the sports editor twice this week but got no response.
I do think its a bit strange that Watford were saying 4 weeks ago that the ground works were moving along, only to be told now that they won't be ready until January. Who is project managing this scheme on behalf of the club? Surely they would know how the works are progressing day to day, rather than find out a week before the start of the season. Only asking because I project manage major building works for a living and I know I'd be for the high-jump if I was in a similar situation!
Just wondering, I rushed to buy my WO this morning expecting to see the latest developments following last weeks story and the Watford response but there is nothing? Is this because of the legal situation or some other reason? Not trying to stir up trouble but it would be nice if we could have some clarification. I've emailed the sports editor twice this week but got no response. I do think its a bit strange that Watford were saying 4 weeks ago that the ground works were moving along, only to be told now that they won't be ready until January. Who is project managing this scheme on behalf of the club? Surely they would know how the works are progressing day to day, rather than find out a week before the start of the season. Only asking because I project manage major building works for a living and I know I'd be for the high-jump if I was in a similar situation! Hugh
  • Score: 0

10:07am Fri 1 Aug 08

Vicar Rage says...

Hugh

As someone who knows the building industry, I was hoping you might understand - because I certainly don't! Surely things like fixtures or day-to-day activity at the ground wouldn't suddenly become such a major problem this far into a project, especially during the summer when movement at the stadium would be at its lowest?

As for the updates on last week's story, the club have clearly not offered anything further or else I am sure the WO would have published it. Similarly, if the club are pursuing legal action, then the paper will probably now be replying and responsing in private. That's my guess anyway.
Hugh As someone who knows the building industry, I was hoping you might understand - because I certainly don't! Surely things like fixtures or day-to-day activity at the ground wouldn't suddenly become such a major problem this far into a project, especially during the summer when movement at the stadium would be at its lowest? As for the updates on last week's story, the club have clearly not offered anything further or else I am sure the WO would have published it. Similarly, if the club are pursuing legal action, then the paper will probably now be replying and responsing in private. That's my guess anyway. Vicar Rage
  • Score: 0

10:27am Fri 1 Aug 08

Hugh says...

Vicar Rage - I won't bore you with all the details, but yes, the factors now being put forward as reasons for the delay would (or should!) have been covered in the original specification for the works. This document forms part of the Invitation to Tender package (again, presumably they did go out to competitive tender) and all prospective contractors would allow for these in their tender submission. Using the excuse that it is a sports arena is slightly ridiculous in my opinion. As I said earlier though, I would be interested to hear what the clubs project manager has been doing all summer. They should have been fully aware of the (lack of) progress and should therefore been able to build in some form of contingeny arrangements. Finally, I'd also be interested to know whether the club built in any penalty clauses, damages for non-completion etc into the contract.
Sorry for boring everyone - I'll get back to work now!! (hope we have a good season)
Vicar Rage - I won't bore you with all the details, but yes, the factors now being put forward as reasons for the delay would (or should!) have been covered in the original specification for the works. This document forms part of the Invitation to Tender package (again, presumably they did go out to competitive tender) and all prospective contractors would allow for these in their tender submission. Using the excuse that it is a sports arena is slightly ridiculous in my opinion. As I said earlier though, I would be interested to hear what the clubs project manager has been doing all summer. They should have been fully aware of the (lack of) progress and should therefore been able to build in some form of contingeny arrangements. Finally, I'd also be interested to know whether the club built in any penalty clauses, damages for non-completion etc into the contract. Sorry for boring everyone - I'll get back to work now!! (hope we have a good season) Hugh
  • Score: 0

10:28am Fri 1 Aug 08

Worrier says...

Lawyers on both sides will urge caution whilst they gather info.
I assume Club will have/be in process of issuing proceedings.
Publicly, only WO can really say much at present,either "sorry" or "get lost,we are right"
I just want the truth to emerge. I suspect the truth is that whilst some of the article is accurate,the main point is overstated and therefore untruthful,legally.
It struck me at the time as recklessly phrased and of dubious accuracy,but we shall see.

If you care to open a book on it,my tenner is on an apology by the Paper and some financial recompense as damages.

Like Vicar Rage,I have construction industry connections-not house-building thank God!-but I have seen these type of hold-ups,especially in such a type of venue.
I will believe the official line until I have more reason to doubt it.Of course we may yet get accusations that Ashton & Simpson have been using the diggings to bury bodies & evidence!
Lawyers on both sides will urge caution whilst they gather info. I assume Club will have/be in process of issuing proceedings. Publicly, only WO can really say much at present,either "sorry" or "get lost,we are right" I just want the truth to emerge. I suspect the truth is that whilst some of the article is accurate,the main point is overstated and therefore untruthful,legally. It struck me at the time as recklessly phrased and of dubious accuracy,but we shall see. If you care to open a book on it,my tenner is on an apology by the Paper and some financial recompense as damages. Like Vicar Rage,I have construction industry connections-not house-building thank God!-but I have seen these type of hold-ups,especially in such a type of venue. I will believe the official line until I have more reason to doubt it.Of course we may yet get accusations that Ashton & Simpson have been using the diggings to bury bodies & evidence! Worrier
  • Score: 0

6:14pm Fri 1 Aug 08

aitcham says...

If we have to ground share I suggest Boreham Wood for the Watford are going we will soon be in the same division
If we have to ground share I suggest Boreham Wood for the Watford are going we will soon be in the same division aitcham
  • Score: 0

6:28pm Fri 1 Aug 08

WFC4ever says...

I highly doubt it mate...St Albans are even above them!

Blimey I thought people in the East stand were a negative and dis-sprited lot!
I highly doubt it mate...St Albans are even above them! Blimey I thought people in the East stand were a negative and dis-sprited lot! WFC4ever
  • Score: 0

10:42pm Fri 1 Aug 08

Hornet Cornet says...

We could always ground share by using the Waford Junction car park. It'll hold our supporters comfortably.
We could always ground share by using the Waford Junction car park. It'll hold our supporters comfortably. Hornet Cornet
  • Score: 0

8:18am Sun 3 Aug 08

Worrier says...

It is actually the guy from ORIGIN quoted first here!

The quote from Simpson has been added for impact.

Now as Origin are the customer(we have sold them the rights) how could Simpson/lack of money be the cause?

I was going to mow my lawn today but it rained last night.

PERSONALLY I BLAME SIMPSON!
It is actually the guy from ORIGIN quoted first here! The quote from Simpson has been added for impact. Now as Origin are the customer(we have sold them the rights) how could Simpson/lack of money be the cause? I was going to mow my lawn today but it rained last night. PERSONALLY I BLAME SIMPSON! Worrier
  • Score: 0
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