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Football club with big ambitions to transform Ebbsfleet into Disneyland Paris rival

Ebbsfleet United football club have a big week ahead, as the team prepares for its promotion play-off tie with Hampton and Richmond in the National League South.

However, moving up a division is just the first part of a much wider masterplan, dreamed up by the club's owner.

Dr Abdulla Al-Humaidi wants to transform nearby wasteland into a wonderland. He wants his theme park to rival Disneyland Paris, with 50 rides, a theatre and hotels.

It would be twice the size of the Olympic Park in East London and, according to the developers, attract 15 million visitors a year.

The club say it would bring 27,000 thousand jobs to an area with high unemployment.

Artist's impression of proposed theme park in Ebbsfleet

Local residents are concerned about traffic congestion, but the majority support the plans.

Artist's impression of proposed theme park in Ebbsfleet

The surrounding area is already being regenerated. 15,000 new homes are being built nearby to create Ebbsfleet Garden City and £11m is being spent on new football club stands.

The club will find out in November if the theme park has been given the go-ahead by the government.

Peter Varney, Ebbsfleet United's vice-chairman, says Dr Abdulla won't sell up if the resort doesn't get planning approval. He told ITV London:

They're two completely separate projects. He's committed to the club for the long-term, not a penny of it is going in a loans it's all equity.

– Peter Varney, Ebbsfleet United's vice-chairman