Friday, August 31, 2018

News: Rotherham's pitch battle continues


Another season, another dispute. Rotherham Titans and Rotherham Town Cricket Club are again at odds over the use of the Clifton Lane ground.

Rothbiz reported in 2015 that the Titans, the borough's rugby union club, had won a court case following action taken by its landlords in a long running dispute.

Each year the rugby and cricket playing seasons overlap. The Titans had previously been required to play on Herringthorpe Playing Fields, and in Sheffield, and move fixtures to Sundays. The cricket club have also had to cancel and rearrange fixtures when the TV gantry was not removed in time by the rugby club.

An uneasy coexistence has followed but relations unraveled this week with both sides set to play home fixtures this Saturday.

The cricket club, whose first team is fighting to stave off relegation, say that they have looked to try and accommodate the rugby club by allowing fixtures to take place on Friday and Sunday. They added in a statement earlier this week that the Titans and their fans would in effect be trespassing on Saturday. The tenure of the cricket Club expires on the September 9.


A statement from the rugby club points to a written agreement following the court case which states that: "The changeover dates remain but Rotherham Town Cricket Club acknowledges that Rotherham Titans may need to use the ground at the start and end of the Rugby Playing season for League fixtures and play-off games and that Rotherham Town Cricket Club will accommodate this."

The statement adds: "Despite our agreement we have made all efforts to avoid a "Fixture Clash" with Rotherham Town Cricket Club who also have a home fixture on the 1st September 2018.

"This year our League Requirements are that fixtures must be played on the Saturday of each week with kick off between 2pm and 3pm.

"We have made all efforts to re arrange our home fixture of the 01st September 2018 including reversing the fixture to the home ground of our opponents and also seeking other alternative suitable other venues.

"Regretfully this has not been possible and we are left with no alternative but to rely upon the agreement made with the Rotherham Town Cricket Club on the 2nd December 2015.

"We therefore confirm that our Fixture against Old Elthamians will be hosted on Clifton Lane with a kick off time of 2pm."

In response, the cricket club accused the Titans of using "bullying tactics" and debunks claims that National Leaugue One games must be played on a Saturday. League counterparts, Caldy Rugby Club, who incidentally shares a ground with a cricket club, has two home fixtures on Sunday afternoons during September.

A statement from the cricket club yesterday said: "The agreement the Titans mentioned is for situations such as this where we're only too happy to allow the Titans to play matches during our tenure (at the risk of damaging the outfield and square) but at a date that doesn't interfere with our already scheduled fixtures.

"The Titans mention 4th September 2016 and 3rd September 2017 in their statement where we accommodated their games during the cricket tenure. Both of these dates are of course Sundays. Again, we would be happy to allow the Titans to play at a time that didn’t disrupt our already arranged fixtures.

"Our fixtures were set while Titans were still playing their previous season, so they have had the best part of half a year to arrange with their fixtures secretaries a solution to their problem.

"Sadly the Titans management have had no intention of working with us for some time as can be seen from their bullying tactics at the start of our season when they refused to remove their advertising hoardings, which led to the first game of our season being cancelled."

Clifton Lane has long been a sporting venue in Rotherham, having been the original home to Rotherham Town Football Club in 1882. It was sold to the newly formed Rotherham Athletic Company in 1905.

Rotherham Titans website
Rotherham Town website

Images: Rotherham Town / Facebook


Anonymous,  August 31, 2018 at 11:12 AM  

There is a possible solution-why doesn’t either club move to millmoor as has been previously suggested, money will need to be spent updating it, but the old place is an eyesore now !

Tom,  August 31, 2018 at 11:44 AM  

The proposal fell apart in 2011 when "a commercially viable solution could not be found."

All comes down to money being spent but I can't see the owners or the club coming up with any.

Herringthorpe, Brinsworth, Don Valley, Mansfield and Oakwell are the other locations previously discussed by the rugby club.

Anonymous,  September 2, 2018 at 6:57 PM  

Had it been the football club involved in this dispute the council would be stepping in to help but the only sport Rotherham council cares about is football. The former Rotherham united stadium would make a perfect multi sports venue but this council will do nothing to step in to help.

Anonymous,  September 3, 2018 at 11:40 AM  

Rugby should move to.millmoor,surely if this move was facilitated with some help from.RMBC,it would not only give them new home,but would also give a boost to.a very run.down.area.Come on RMBC!

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