DESPITE bidding a heartfelt farewell to the Abbey Stadium at the weekend, Swindon Robins owner Terry Russell hasn’t ruled out the possibility of his side starting next season on their old Blunsdon track.

Construction of the Robins' new £5 million home, which is being built adjacent to the existing Abbey Stadium, has been delayed as the finer details of the planning process involving ground drainage and noise reduction, which come under a reserved matters application, were drawn up.

Work on the Robins’ new stadium is currently expected to be completed next summer – after the start of the 2016 season – and Russell is already formulating a contingency plan.

“I’m very, very excited and looking forward to it, and I’ll be glad when it all starts going up and we can stop all the doom about it not going up,” said the Robins owner.

“I understand what the hold up’s been and I’m totally in-tune with it all.

“Come the beginning of next year; maybe late February, I’ll start taking a view on what I should do because this one (the Abbey) will still be here if needed it but it’s not my intention.

“If I need to not start my home campaign until let’s say May, then that’s what I’ll do. We’ll start the season by racing some away matches and then pick up at home.

“It’s not as on-schedule as we wanted it to be but it’s happening – no doubt about that.”

Clark Osborne of Gaming International, who own the land, admits to some frustration over the construction setback but is satisfied that all the i’s and t’s will have been comprehensively dotted and crossed when the Robins’ new home opens its doors.

“Our hurdle has been what’s called the reserved matters application to the local authority, which deals with a lot of the orientation of the facilities and the noise attenuation,” said Osborne.

“The noise attenuation is very scientific and even involves the design and layout of the buildings.

“These are technical issues, which include the levels of the ground and the drainage, but the local authority have been fantastic throughout and we remain confident that the reserved matters will be submitted by the end of this month.

“We’re behind where we wanted to be at this point because of the planning process but we’ve organised the contractor and in essence, we’re ready to go as soon as we the green light.

“We’ll have all of the preparations and illustrations ready so that before this side of Christmas, Terry Russell can sit down with potential sponsors because the new site is going to have a big emphasis on commercial space.

“We’ve always had to have a contingency plan and the plan has always been that we will finish one site before we close the other one – the old track will be there until the new one is ready.

“My colleagues always accuse me of being an eternal optimist but I believe that June is a realistic target for things to be completed; maybe even earlier.”