Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Doncaster Rovers could run Keepmoat Stadium in future

The Keepmoat stadium could be run by Doncaster Rovers said the town's mayor Peter Davies.

He told the BBC he was looking at the option of leasing the stadium to the club as he was unhappy with the Stadium Management Company [SMC].

Doncaster Council, who own the stadium, said it would consider the option, however no formal process had started.

SMC said issues with its management should not be raised by the council through the media.

The English Democrat elected mayor said he was looking at the option of Doncaster Rovers taking over the management of the 15,000 capacity stadium and paying an annual rent.

Mr Davies said: "To sell it would be an extreme move, it's not on the horizon at the moment and it's not impossible but not part of the plan. What's more likely is a lease."

'Losing business'

A spokesman for SMC said: "We report back to the council on a regular basis and if anyone is unhappy with the way the stadium is managed we would expect it to be raised with us in the correct way, not via a media interview.

"There are a lot of rumours in the press about the future ownership of the stadium which are not conducive to running a business.

"We can only work on what we know and that is the SMC has the responsibility for the stadium."

Mr Davies said the management company had focused on organising music events which had not made any money and was looking to make local sports a priority for the stadium.

Doncaster Rovers chairman John Ryan said he was "hoping to do a deal".

He said: "They're asking us to take on a losing business and therefore the valuation goes down quite considerably but we'll see if we can come to some sort of agreement."

Rovers relocated to the £32m Keepmoat Stadium in 2007 after moving from its original home at Belle Vue.

The stadium is also used by the town's rugby league team and the women's football team, The Doncaster Belles.

Earlier this year former manager Sean O'Driscoll criticised a decision to allow Westlife concert to play on the ground of the Keepmoat days before the season starts.

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