Buckingham Road back on market but no Ducks return

The Buckingham Road site
The Buckingham Road site

Aylesbury United will not be making a sentimental return to their former Buckingham Road home as the site goes back on the market this week.

Ducks chairman Graham Read has revealed he held talks with the site’s owners over the weekend after being sounded out about its availability.

Read said he was initially caught up in the emotion and sentimentality of the idea.

But after talks he insists there will be no dream homecoming for fans seven years on from their eviction, because things ‘just didn’t stack up’.

“At first I was really excited about the idea and the sentimentality behind it and the thought of going back to Buckingham Road,” Read said.

“But the more we looked into it, the more things just didn’t stack up for us.

“Yes it would be great on an emotional level but on top of the mortgage, another £100,000 plus would be required as well as additional costs for refurbishment etc which could be better spent on other options we’re looking at.

“Also, these extra hidden costs could cripple the club in the short term and would be a millstone around our necks that we don’t need.”

The Ducks have been moving in the right direction recently, securing promotion back to the Southern League, winning their first silverware for 13 years and stabilising off the pitch by merging with extensive youth football setup Aylesbury Town.

Now boasting a plethora of teams from under 5s upwards, Read was also concerned Buckingham Road would not be big enough for the new-look Ducks.

“I saw on the fans’ website a great comment which said it is the right decision (not to go back) because the Aylesbury United that returns to Aylesbury is bigger and better than the one that left,” Read said.

“Another thing to bear in mind is if we wanted to move out or sell up at a later date, who would buy it because its been sat there for seven years now.”

According to sources the Buckingham Road site is believed to have changed hands three times since United’s eviction in 2006, initially for as much as £2.5m. It is currently in the hands of a bank and ‘For Sale’ signs are expected to go up imminently.

A passionate Read has moved to reassure fans disappointed by the news that everyone at the club is ‘working their socks off to bring the Ducks home’.

But he insists the other options they have are more viable than returning to Buckingham Road.

“We felt, with the amalgamation with Aylesbury Town, that we’d outgrow the old ground very quickly anyway and it would not be big enough to accommodate all of our future ‘income’ streams.

“I have to say even talking about it now there is such a sentimental pull.

“But we did a lot of homework on the situation and we’ve got other options.

“It’s like a London bus, you’re out of the town for seven years and then all these options come along at once.

“But, we need to look long term to secure the club’s future once and for all.

“And I can assure people and our supporters we are working our socks off to get the club back to Aylesbury.”