It's about so much more than just a game.

Protecting the home of Swindon Town FC


Founded in 1879 Swindon Town Football Club have been cornerstone of the local community for over 140 years, and since 1896 their footballing home has been The County Ground.

Used in 1940 by the War Department to house POWs, The County Ground is ingrained in the rich history of Swindon, playing a part in core memories from across generations, and becoming the permanent base to propel Swindon Town Football Club back up the football league.

Set in the heart of the Swindon, only a short distance from the famous “Magic roundabout”, the ground has seen many changes since Thomas Arkell, of Arkell’s Brewery, donated £300 to finance the first purpose-built stand. However, being owned by Swindon Borough Council, having multiple changes in club ownership, and the fortunes of the club fluctuating over the decades, more recent developments have been few and far between.

Wanting to protect the ground and establish a stable foundation for the future of Swindon Town FC, in 2014 Swindon Town Supporters Trust began to explore options to purchase the ground from Swindon Borough Council.

Key complexities of this project

  • Multiple parties involved

    With three key parties (Swindon Town FC, Swindon Town Supporters Trust, and Swindon Borough Council) and the project being funded by the Nigel Eady Trust, keeping everyone informed and pulling in the same direction was going to be a considerable challenge.

  • Changes in ownership

    Since the start of the process the ownership of the football club had changed hands causing further delays and renegotiations to have to take place.

  • The covid pandemic

    The pandemic was not a welcome distraction for the purchase of the county ground, not only did it slow the process, it also placed further strain on the available finances to complete the transaction.

  • Funding

    It was never feasible for the Swindon Town Supporters Trust to complete the purchase on their own. Support and buy in from the club and the Nigel Eady Trust was going to be required.

  • Longevity

    The purchase of the county ground took over eight years. Having people who were involved from the start to the finish that were driven to keep this project going despite setbacks and delays was critical to its success.

Speaker profiles

Neil Hutchings - Board member Swindon Town Supporters Trust and Board member of the JV company

"You can pick us up and drop us into another stadium, with 50,000 seats but it wouldn’t be the same. And I think that’s why we wanted to protect the heritage and the legacy of the County Ground."

Stephen Mytton - Chairman of Swindon Town Supporters Trust

"The catalyst for buying the county ground was really around development. The stadium has looked pretty much exactly the same for he last 30 years, and I suspect if nothing was done it would look exactly the same in 30 years time."

Rob Angus - Former CEO of Swindon Town Football Club

"We’ve witnessed play-off success, we’ve seen great cup success here, and you know it’s a great ground, and it’s our home."

The legal support RWK Goodman provided

RWK Goodman Real Estate Partner, Greg Callard and our Swindon Real Estate team have helped to realise the dream of the Swindon Town Supporters Trust and Swindon Town Football Club.

The Process

With a process lasting over eight years, the purchase of the County Ground from Swindon Borough Council was defiantly not straight forward. Working collaboratively with the football club and the supporters trust, the RWK Goodman team have helped navigate new owners, challenges brought on by the pandemic alongside working with The Nigel Eady Trust and their own independent legal team.

“When we actually completed, seeing the reaction of those people who had put so many hours into it, and given up so much of their own time to make the deal happen, that’s what made it all worthwhile.”
Greg Callard - RWK Goodman, Partner

The Outcome

In March 2023 a £2.3 million deal to secure the purchase of the County Ground stadium by the Swindon Town Supporters Trust and Swindon Town Football Club was reached. This deal means that supporters will now play an active role in decisions regarding the future development of the ground, and that rental money (that was being paid to the council) can be repurposed to refurbish and redevelop the stadium.

“The support and advice from Greg and the RWK Goodman team, (was) absolutely invaluable. Amazing support for the town, the football club, the community, and the supporters.”
Rob Angus - Former CEO of Swindon Town Football Club

The Future

Critical to the future of The County Ground is creating revenue outside of matchdays, so plans to further develop the stadium are in the pipeline to be discussed amongst the supporters trust and the football club.

Plans are already underway for the development of a Fan zone, along side the creation of Swindon Town Football Club hero Don Rogers – or “Sir Don” to the fans.

"The supporters stake in this is all important. It maintains the security of the stadium of the future, but also enables the ground to be developed through private investment."
Stephen Mytton - Chairman of Swindon Town Supporters Trust

Greg Callard – RWK Goodman, Partner | Real Estate

Outside of being a Swindon Town FC fan, Greg is a Partner in our Real Estate team.

A specialist in the commercial property sector, Greg advises clients on all aspects of real estate transactions, and in connection with the transfer of businesses including pubs and restaurants.

Key areas of support include:

  • Buying and selling of all types of commercial property including office and retail premises
  • Advising commercial landlords and tenants on complex leases and commercial lets, including sub-letting
  • Occupancy and property portfolio advice for commercial landlords
Read more about Greg and our Real Estate team here
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