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New Bristol Rovers owners await stadium appeal

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Bristol Rovers’ new Jordanian owners will not look into alternative stadium developments until the club’s appeal to overturn a High Court verdict on its original UWE Stadium plan is decided.

The League Two club was purchased by the Al Qadi family on Friday (19 February), with plans to grow the club “organically” with a new recruitment policy, structure and academy system referenced by the new owners.

Wael Al Qadi – the club’s new president – said that the club needed a new stadium to “survive and flourish”, but will wait to see if its initial plans to build a £40m (US$56.4m, €51.1m) stadium will be given the green light, after an initial negative reception.

The proposal broke down after supermarket chain Sainsbury’s pulled out of a deal to buy Bristol Rovers’ current Memorial Ground for £30m (US$42.3m, €38.4m). Although the club contested Sainsbury’s decision, the High Court ruled in favour of the retail giant last July.

Bristol Rovers subsequently lodged an appeal, although a decision is not expected until March. The 21,700-capacity UWE Stadium was planned for a site in the north of the city.

Al Qadi said that his family could “really see the potential” of the club, adding: “Bristol Rovers has always been known as a family club and it is my family’s wish to maintain that tradition, through our own involvement and commitment.”

Former chair of Swansea City, Steve Hamer, will become Bristol Rovers’ new chair as part of the deal, replacing Nick Higgs.

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Bristol Rovers’ new Jordanian owners will not look into alternative stadium developments until the club’s appeal to overturn a High Court verdict on its original UWE Stadium plan is decided.
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The club will find out in March if its appeal to build the UWE Stadium has been successful / Bristol Rovers
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