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Stadium double rent hike fears

 

 

 

Hopes: Stuart Highfield

 

 

 

DONCASTER council is bidding to double Doncaster Rovers' rent at the borough's Keepmoat Stadium, it has been reported.

The cash-strapped stadium lost £2.5 million in its first 18 months - despite predictions it would make an operating profit in its first year.

 

There were reports today that leaked documents show the council was asking them to more than double their current rent - with the warning that, if they do not agree, the stadium's future will be in jeopardy. Rovers and the council have refused to confirm or deny the claims.

 

Rovers are believed to be paying £251,000 per year, guaranteed for 25 years by the current contract. Rovers are believed to have been asked to increase that sum to up to £600,000.

 

Rovers' managing director Stuart Highfield today said he expected the council to honour the existing deal.

 

He said: "We have a 25 year lease and I expect the council to honour that - I certainly hope they will.

 

"I know there is a problem with stadium's finances but no-one realistically expected it to make a profit in the first few years and the council should have allowed for that.

 

"Things are improving at the Keepmoat. They are starting to get internationals and, should we achieve promotion, our gates next year will be significantly higher - I would predict that we'll sell out 75 per cent of our games.

 

"There have been several factors contributing to the stadium's financial problems. The lengthy suspension of the drinks licence is one of them.

 

"You have to give things like this time."

 

Mayor of Doncaster Martin Winter said it was stated when the stadium first opened that it would take up to three years to achieve the expectations in the business plan.

 

He said: "This new business is in its fifteenth month of operation and, although mistakes were originally made, we are now back on track to achieve a balanced position within the company's first three years.

 

"The latest projectors for 2008/9 are very positive indeed and we are working closely with Gavin Baldwin, who is now the chief executive of the management company, to ensure good relationships with partners and improved income for the company. Gavin knows I have high expectations of him and that he must continue to deliver the improvements we have seen so far."

 

Liberal democrat councillor Stephen Coddington said: "This just proves that there was a lack of business acumen in the first place. The whole creation of the stadium was just electioneering by Martin Winter - nothing more than that."

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this is very interesting... lots of speculation based quite obviously on the holy grail of promotion - and in turn that this will miraculously produce an army of new fans lurking in (insert any small footballing town)... its just all rubbish... Donny aint there yet, and even if they do I highly doubt gates will increase by more that a thousand or so - mainly away fans....

 

Could be an interesting situation brewing... lots of pressure on em... and lots of speculation about the supposed potential wealth available... which to be honest, is utter tosh

 

"The latest projectors for 2008/9 are very positive indeed and we are working closely with Gavin Baldwin, who is now the chief executive of the management company, to ensure good relationships with partners and improved income for the company. Gavin knows I have high expectations of him and that he must continue to deliver the improvements we have seen so far."

 

No pressure there then gav!

 

Just another example of you shouldnt expect gate revenue and success to finance a stadium.... 700+ flats is the only sensible way! :wink:

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To put a few things straight.

 

Rovers owned Belle Vue. When we left Belle Vue, one of the coniditions of moving to a new stadium was that it was run by an SMC (Stadium Management Company), whether thats down to a control freaky type council I'll let you decide. Anyway, first few months after it opened, the SMC seemed to set up against the Rovers and all tenant clubs, with OTT stewarding, ridiculous pricing etc etc - they refused to co-operate with the clubs basically, and at one point wanted to charge our own FITC something like 15k per annum for one little office. They had two concerts last summer (Groover from Vancouver and McFly) and lost something like 500k on them, then the SMC sold alcohol to kids and lost the license - and more money. Now, they'v lost between 2 and 2.5 million since the stadium opened in January 2007. However, for the place to be sold, the council has to agree to sell it, as they still kinda have the final say on activity there - the SMC was set up by a load of ex council people. Jobs for the boys if you get my drift ;)

 

They've already had a few emergency meetings to discuss activities involving the SMC, and if it does come up for sale at some point, DRFC will be interested in buying it, and can afford to buy it. The SMC's incompetance has nothing to do with Rovers. Yes, we are paying effectively a pittance for using the stadium, but that was what the council agreed to let us pay and there's watertight documentation for us to pay that for another 23.5 years.

 

The only thing Rovers related about the Deepthroat Stadium is we play there. We have no running in it to do whatsoever, so the empire built on sand statement is complete tosh.

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To put a few things straight.

 

Rovers owned Belle Vue. When we left Belle Vue, one of the coniditions of moving to a new stadium was that it was run by an SMC (Stadium Management Company), whether thats down to a control freaky type council I'll let you decide. Anyway, first few months after it opened, the SMC seemed to set up against the Rovers and all tenant clubs, with OTT stewarding, ridiculous pricing etc etc - they refused to co-operate with the clubs basically, and at one point wanted to charge our own FITC something like 15k per annum for one little office. They had two concerts last summer (Groover from Vancouver and McFly) and lost something like 500k on them, then the SMC sold alcohol to kids and lost the license - and more money. Now, they'v lost between 2 and 2.5 million since the stadium opened in January 2007. However, for the place to be sold, the council has to agree to sell it, as they still kinda have the final say on activity there - the SMC was set up by a load of ex council people. Jobs for the boys if you get my drift ;)

 

They've already had a few emergency meetings to discuss activities involving the SMC, and if it does come up for sale at some point, DRFC will be interested in buying it, and can afford to buy it. The SMC's incompetance has nothing to do with Rovers. Yes, we are paying effectively a pittance for using the stadium, but that was what the council agreed to let us pay and there's watertight documentation for us to pay that for another 23.5 years.

 

The only thing Rovers related about the Deepthroat Stadium is we play there. We have no running in it to do whatsoever, so the empire built on sand statement is complete tosh.

 

Oi.

 

We operate a zero tolerance policy with regard to away fans.

 

Can you please make sure that in future your posts contain no sensible facts whatsoever and are based solely on spurious claims, rumour and innuendo. You'll fit in fine with us lot if you adopt our policy.

 

:grin:

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To put a few things straight.

 

Rovers owned Belle Vue. When we left Belle Vue, one of the coniditions of moving to a new stadium was that it was run by an SMC (Stadium Management Company), whether thats down to a control freaky type council I'll let you decide. Anyway, first few months after it opened, the SMC seemed to set up against the Rovers and all tenant clubs, with OTT stewarding, ridiculous pricing etc etc - they refused to co-operate with the clubs basically, and at one point wanted to charge our own FITC something like 15k per annum for one little office. They had two concerts last summer (Groover from Vancouver and McFly) and lost something like 500k on them, then the SMC sold alcohol to kids and lost the license - and more money. Now, they'v lost between 2 and 2.5 million since the stadium opened in January 2007. However, for the place to be sold, the council has to agree to sell it, as they still kinda have the final say on activity there - the SMC was set up by a load of ex council people. Jobs for the boys if you get my drift ;)

 

They've already had a few emergency meetings to discuss activities involving the SMC, and if it does come up for sale at some point, DRFC will be interested in buying it, and can afford to buy it. The SMC's incompetance has nothing to do with Rovers. Yes, we are paying effectively a pittance for using the stadium, but that was what the council agreed to let us pay and there's watertight documentation for us to pay that for another 23.5 years.

 

The only thing Rovers related about the Deepthroat Stadium is we play there. We have no running in it to do whatsoever, so the empire built on sand statement is complete tosh.

 

fair enough rigo, you have answered my questions very well there, and it explains why you are renting (although it does, as you say seem very strange from the council). Did DRFC never contemplate building their own stadium? as has been said, if you sell out 75% of all your games in the first season you get promoted, there isnt very much scope for development there. Let me explain. Latics are redeveloping up to a 16000 capacity or there abouts, easily enough for our current status, and probably enough to take us to top level championship, but if (and this is highly, highly unlikely) we ever got to the premiership and were having sell out crowds every week, the RRE was designed to enable a second tier if necessary. are there plans as such at the Keepmoat?

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Don't start talking about developing the Deepthroat. That's another issue in itself, but basically to cut a long story short if we wanted to extend the capacity, we'd have to physically knock down a stand, and start again from scratch. If you've been (or if you're going next week), you'll notice the roof is flat all way round, rather than floating like it is at the Galpharm for instance. That was one of the cutbacks the council made as originally it was going to be a 32 million complex, with the stadium easilly extendable to 20,000 if need be, and with the floating roof. Short sightedness? I'll let you decide...

 

As for building our own stadium it was considered, but only briefly really. We wanted to move stadium for years but with a lack of money around the town and club for years, we just couldn't afford it. As it worked out, by the time we'd have acquired the necessary land, built the stadium and other stuff, the cost would be pushing on for what the council paid for the whole complex.

 

The general concensus around the town now (and around most Rovers fans) is the council have served their purpose in getting the stadium, now the SMC - still basically the mayor's good mates who he couldn't get a job for in council, can f*** off.

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I don't understand how the council can threaten to throw the club out of the stadium when they have a 25 year fixed lease. Surely that can't be changed. Where would the council get any other cash from?

 

As with any contract. either party can breach it at their own peril. The council may consider the risk of court action to be worth it. They might try to make the club look as if they got too good a deal just to get them to talk about paying a rent increase. You are right about it not being changed. It can only be varied by agreement between the two parties to it.

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I hate doncaster. Scummy Scummy Scumsters. Remind me of Wigan, new ground, no history, loads of billy big :censored: supporters. I hope we stuff them on Monday.

 

No history? er, yes they have.

New ground? what's the problem with that?

Loads of billy :censored: supporters? Not really, they are still fortunate to get over 8000.

 

Yes they have a financial sugar daddy. So what ? Name me a club at this level that wouldn't want that level of backing. And the TTA are putting in millions to us.

 

Hate Doncaster. Fair enough. Why not because they're from Yorkshire though?

Edited by philliggi
Philliggi: Edit to quote
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