Chelsea to buy AFC Wimbledon's Kingsmeadow home


Chelsea will purchase AFC Wimbledon's Kingsmeadow ground after Dons fans voted in favour of the proposal.

The deal depends on AFC Wimbledon getting planning permission to build a new 20,000 capacity stadium in Merton.

A vote held by the Dons Trust saw 98 per cent of the club's fans vote for the sale, which will see Chelsea host their youth team and women's matches at Kingsmeadow.

However, the sale of the ground means that non-league club Kingstonian, who have played at Kingsmeadow for over 25 years, will have to find a new home ground.

Dons Trust chair Matthew Breach said: "The successful vote on the stadium sale is an important milestone in helping to return AFC Wimbledon to its spiritual home in Merton.

The Dons are planning to build their new ground on the site of Wimbledon Greyhound Stadium, with a planning application already having been submitted to the local council.

Breach added: "There is still a lot of work to do to deliver a new stadium but the outcome of the vote shows the overwhelming support among the club's fans for having Wimbledon play where it belongs, back in Merton."

AFC Wimbledon have played their home matches at Kingsmeadow since the club was formed in 2002, purchasing the lease for the ground from Isthmian League Premier Division Kingstonian a year later.

The club added that a "substantial" sum of money from the sale of Kingsmeadow will be paid to Kingstonian to help the club find a new home.