Rochdale: Confusion over football club's offer to buy Spotland

Spotland, home of Rochdale FC
Spotland is home to Rochdale FC and Rochdale Hornets and has a capacity of just over 10.000

Manager Keith Hill says Rochdale have made an offer to buy Spotland but the company overseeing the running of the ground has denied the claim.

Councillor Allen Brett, chairman of Denehurst Park Stadium Company, said no formal bid had been made.

It comes after Hill told BBC Radio Manchester that the football club had made "a superb offer" for Spotland.

The stadium is currently home to League One side Rochdale and Rochdale Hornets, who play in rugby league's second tier.

The Hornets moved in during the late 1980s, selling their previous Athletic Grounds home to a supermarket chain and using the money they received to fund their purchase of a share in Spotland.

Rochdale FC, the Rugby League Facilities Trust - who are acting on behalf of the Hornets after the club's previous financial problems - and Rochdale Council all have shares in Denehurst Park Stadium Company, which is currently operating with a large debt.

"I would really like, for the future of the football club, to be given the opportunity to buy the stadium," said Hill.

Rochdale manager Keith Hill
Rochdale won promotion to League One last season under manager Keith Hill

"At the moment, the stadium company debt is unmanageable and something has to give somewhere.

"I've got to be very careful because there are a lot of politicians and local councils involved, but we have made a superb offer to buy the stadium and facilitate the stadium company debt, which is a massive amount of money at this moment in time.

"We're doing everything we can to help not just Rochdale Council, but Rochdale rugby club and obviously ourselves, for the future of the Rochdale community as well."

Last month, Hill said the money received from the sale of striker Scott Hogan to Brentford would be used to "safeguard the future of the football club" rather than signing new players.

In response, Brett said: "This is the first I've heard of it. Nobody's made me an offer. Nobody's talked to me, but I'm very willing to talk to anybody.

"If Rochdale Football Club have come up with a plan, I suggest they get in touch with me as soon as possible and start talking.

"My view at the moment is that I want two professional clubs working together and working in the town. I want Rochdale to be represented in football and rugby league professionally and working for the town."

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Relegation is not a failure - Hill

Meanwhile, Hill is preparing his team for their return to League One after winning promotion last term and the former Barnsley manager is realistic about his side's chances of staying in the division.

"If we were to get relegated, it still wouldn't be a massive failure because the production line and the way we are trying to manage the club for the future would still be in place," he said.

"You look at the Premier League and there are yo-yo sides. We have no intention of embarking on a relegation campaign but it is a real possibility that we could be involved in a relegation campaign when you look at the enormity of the league.

"The fact of the matter is, in its history, the club has probably only spent four seasons in League One. It's relatively new to us at the club.

"We have to make sure we are doing everything we possibly can to give ourselves the opportunity, first and foremost, to retain League One status. Our intention is to win the league but it's highly unlikely."

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