As the club enters its third month in which the only activity on the Latimer Park pitch has been the futile squelch of the groundman’s boots, we need to talk again about the options. We really can’t face a future like this. Just as well we had the foresight to get knocked out of the cups early.
To turn the surface, which by common consent is the worst draining slab of clay in the county, into something reliably playable would cost a fortune. And we’d still be watching our football at a village ground.
What are the options? Go back to Corby? Twice the distance for many, and would probably knock a couple of hundred off the average gate. But playing 3 games a week when LP finally returns to action will do that anyway. Plus compared to Latimer Park, where on the colder days you have to wrap up like Captain Scott, Steel Park at least offers some decent cover and a better view.
Alternatively, a lot closer to home, Rockingham Road sits there, slowly decaying but a stadium still, not houses. There are arguments against returning – the cost, the deterioration, the old limitations – but to me, whatever the negatives there are two very big arguments for:
1. It’s in Kettering.
2. It’s a football ground.
There you have it – no never ending search for a plot of land that isn’t immediately earmarked for starter homes or another huge warehouse, no planning battles, no objections from local residents, no site clearance costs, no 3 year wait for the first ball to be kicked if, and it’s a very big if, an alternative site was ever ours.
Even with a derelict main stand and temporary dressing rooms, RR outscores the present alternatives.
Except it’s not for sale. Or apparently not. Or the valuation is too high. Who knows with the Pickering family, who make North Korea look open and communicative.
Ultimately, whatever they would like the place to be worth, the market will decide. While they hold out for a sum that no one is willing to pay, the site continues to rot and they don’t receive a penny. And we’re going nowhere on yet another blank Saturday.