Stadium bosses offer early bath to Keepmoat workers

STAFF at Doncaster’s £32 million community sports complex are facing the red card after the announcement of cost-cutting job losses.

And the firm which runs the Keepmoat Stadium may decide to save cash by not replacing its recently-departed chief executive.

Bosses from the Stadium Management Company have asked employees across all departments for voluntary redundancies in a number of meetings over the past seven days.

They blamed the effects of the current economic climate for the cuts.

Employees could leave their jobs by the end of the month, stadium chiefs have confirmed.

The SMC, which currently employs 42 members of staff including 15 part-timers, said it has already saved cash from the summer departure of chief executive Shane Chalmers.

Bosses failed to confirm whether they are still looking for a successor when questioned by the Free Press.

The news comes just a fortnight after we exclusively revealed Doncaster Council, which owns the publicly funded Lakeside site, admitted it could offload the 15,000 all-seater stadium to save taxpayers’ cash. The £32 million cost of the stadium did not include the land value, estimated to be millions of pounds extra.

The SMC refused to comment when asked if the redundancy decision was based on any possible sale.

Colin Harker, finance manager at the SMC, said: “We have held a series of meetings with all staff to inform them that we are looking to make voluntary redundancies.

“The SMC will look at any applications received after the two week deadline and will then begin to restructure.

“The current economic climate has meant that we will have to reduce staffing levels in order to make the necessary savings needed to run a viable business.”

The stadium, home of Doncaster Rovers Football Club, lost £1.74 million in its first three years after opening in December 2006. The SMC announced a £55,000 profit up to the end of March 2010 and was anticipating a small gain of £2,000 at the end of the last financial year in March.

But the Free Press understands talks have recently re-opened between the council and Rovers over a possible sale.

The authority is looking to slash leisure costs following a £70 million cut in local government funding.

Mr Chalmers, appointed chief executive of the SMC in 2008, left his role at the end of July.