SWINDON Town have made an offer to acquire the freehold of the County Ground, the club revealed last night.

Town chairman Lee Power and non-executive vice chairman Clem Morfuni held "several positive meetings'' with representatives of Swindon Borough Council over the possible purchase last summer, resulting in a formal offer to purchase the County Ground from the authority late last year.

The County Ground has been the club's home since 1896 on a leasehold basis and Power said: "This is a great opportunity for the club to generate additional revenue through redevelopment and modernisation of the stadium.

"This additional revenue will help bring us on a level playing field with other clubs that currently have more modern stadiums and will also provide a better all-round footballing experience for the supporters.

“We began discussions with the Council back in the summer with regards to making an offer to purchase the freehold of the County Ground.

"These meetings were very positive and I am delighted with the progress that has been made so far and that we were able to make a formal offer for the club to own the ground."

It is unclear what size of offer has been made for the freehold and whether, should it be successful, the ground would be fully under the ownership of the club itself.

Supporters' group Trust STFC had an initial £1.1 million bid rejected by the council last year and expected the valuation to come in at close to double that figure.

The Trust has since set about trying to secure a £1 million match-funding arrangement, while pursuing a ‘period of exclusivity’ with the council, an arrangement which would lay out a timeframe for them to secure the necessary sum.

The Trust unveiled their plans for the purchase last year, with supporters’ contributions to their Red Army Fund helping them fund a financial review of the stadium and club, as well as information provided by the council.

Subsequently Power, who had previously dismissed getting involved in ground redevelopment or relocation after taking control of the club in 2013, began moves towards the possibility of ground development following the arrival of Morfuni, the founder of Axis group, who worked on Wembley Stadium and are involved in the construction of Tottenham Hotspur’s new state-of-the-art home.