Cheltenham Town Football Club is today the proud owner of its own training ground having completed the purchase of the site formerly known as Seasons in Swindon Village.
Nine years ago the club signed a lease to expand into the whole site, using the main building for meeting rooms, catering and two gymnasiums with offices for the growing staff roster but there was a continuing reluctance to invest in upgrades due to the short term nature of the leases.
"Cheltenham Town Football Club has never really been a property owner before," explained director and club historian Paul Godfrey.
"The Completely Suzuki Stadium is owned by Cheltenham Borough Council but we have a 99 year lease with over 80 years left to run.
"Many years ago the club owned a house in Prestbury Road that was occupied by the first team manager but that was sold to raise funds back in the 1960s so we have been tenants in every property we have occupied since then.
"The opportunity to own the training ground was far too good to turn down and after a year of hard work to reach this point it's a proud day for the club."
The training ground comprises two full size match pitches plus a first team training pitch and goalkeeping training area. There are also four smaller pitches for the younger age group teams in the academy with over 250 players from Under-9s up to the first team using the facility throughout the season.
"We are fortunate that the training ground is big enough to house the first team and academy under one roof because even some of the bigger clubs in the country don't have that luxury," explained Paul.
"It has enabled us to integrate the first team and academy closely and that has definitely paid dividends as we have had some success at developing our own players in recent years.
"Having that security of owning the training ground will enable us to continue that process with the confidence to invest further in the facility, safe in the knowledge that we are there for the long term future."