Friday, December 16, 2011

News: Titans' Millmoor deal is kicked into touch

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The use of the Millmoor ground to stage home matches for the Rotherham Titans looks unlikely after "a commercially viable solution could not be found."


Talks between Rotherham Rugby Club, Rotherham Council and ground owners, CF Booth Ltd have been ongoing for several months.

In June, the council's cabinet agreed that officers should negotiate leases of Millmoor, the former home of Rotherham United, that would enable Rotherham Rugby Union Football Club to take an underlease of the stadium.

The club have now admitted that the prospects of the Titans moving to Millmoor are now looking unlikely.

Rob Hannon, chief executive of Rotherham Rugby Club, said: "All concerned have worked tirelessly to try and make this project happen, but regrettably a commercially viable solution could not be found.

"I know the Directors would like to thank Ken & James Booth as well as Roger Stone and Martin Kimber of the council for all their help and endeavours.

"I know both they and ourselves are disappointed that we could not find a way forward. However we have all had to weigh up the commercial aspects, which of course are made more difficult in this current economic environment."

The Titans ambitious plan was to develop the ground as a leading stand-alone rugby venue including refurbishing the Tivoli suite and the removal of seats from the Millmoor Lane side of the ground to eventually complete the new main stand.

Were the club to gain promotion back into the premiership, their ground would need to meet strict criteria set by the RFU, the governing body for the sport in England. The Titan's current home at Clifton Lane does not and development would be difficult. The club stated that they have been in discussions with other grounds and those negotiations are still ongoing.

Rob Hannon added: "We know many of the fans will also be disappointed with this news but I'm sure they will understand that the future financial security of the club is our prime concern.

"We have made great progress these past six months and we still have a lot of work to do. The ground is just one aspect of the business and there is still plenty to do on the day to day operations and development of the club."

The former tenants of Millmoor, Rotherham United are expected to announce the name of their new £17.3m stadium at a press conference on Monday.

Rotherham Titans website

Images: rotherhamrugby.co.uk

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