Essex club Brightlingsea Regent have found a novel way of buying their new stand, paying £5,500 for the new structure on auction site eBay!
The Eastern Counties League Premier Division side have purchased the 107-seater stand, and hope to get it transported from the Isle of Wight and installed in time for their FA Vase tie with Bodmin tomorrow (Saturday January 18th). The game has been billed as the biggest in the club’s history, as victory would see The R’s reach the last sixteen for the first time in their history.
Club chairman Terry Doherty took the plunge on the stand after first spotting it on eBay two years ago. Apparently, it has only been used once before, for a tennis tournament, and with the club chasing a second successive promotion, it would help with the ground grading for Step 4, where clubs have to have seating for at least one hundred spectators. This stand would raise their seating capacity to 157.
Brightlingsea won promotion last season after finishing third in ECL Division One, and currently lie sixth in the Premier. With another potential promotion on the horizon, Doherty decided action had to be taken, and the extra funds raised by their Vase run and sponsorship meant that now was the time.
In addition to the new stand, the club also hope to buy the turnstiles from the old Walthamstow greyhound track as they look to improve their North Road ground.
Edit: In case you were wondering, the club got the stand erected in time, after getting it back from the Isle of Wight at 8:30pm. Around twenty volunteers were on hand to get the “flatpack” structure built in time for the game. Brightlingsea won their Vase tie 3-1, so it was all worth it!