Stadium takeover deal not done yet

Keepmoat Stadium.
Keepmoat Stadium.

doncaster Rovers are still waiting to take control of the Keepmoat Stadium after the original target date to complete the takeover passed.

It was hoped a deal - that would see the football club become responsible for the venue’s day to day running instead of taxpayers - would be complete by July 1.

However, Mayor of Doncaster, Peter Davies, who is determined to get the Keepmoat off the council’s books said the deal was now expected to be completed by August 1.

He said: “We’re working hard to formalise and agree all of the elements of the deal that would see the Rovers have long term operational control of the stadium.

“I expect the final details of these proposals to be considered by me and my cabinet members on August 1.”

A spokesman for Doncaster Council said there “had been no delay as such” and it was just a case of sorting out the complex paperwork and legal documents.

The publicly funded Keepmoat cost £32 million to build. The land valued at around £25 million was also handed over by the council.

Council documents recommended Rovers’ lease on the venue and their Cantley Park training ground be extended to 99 years in return for the club paying £100,000 a year in rent.

The council would still own the land and stadium and cover the £75,000 insurance, but Rovers would carry out the day to day running of the ground and car park.

The club will take any profit or loss from ticket sales and income from car boot sales, gyms and office space - currently standing at annual losses of £250,000.

Over the first six years of operation Stadium Management Company, which runs the Keepmoat on behalf of the council, racked up debts of £2.1 million.

Funding from the stadium naming rights, bank guarantees, loans and grants were all used to prop up SMC.

Unless a solution was found SMC would have continued to lose between £200,000 and £400,000 a year, placing a further burden on the taxpayer.