Talks plans for stadium use charges

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CLUBS using Doncaster’s Keepmoat Stadium are facing talks which could see them pay more to use the venue.

Stadium managers want users to pay for all the services they receive from the Stadium Management Company – SMC – on match days.

The SMC revealed the plans after Doncaster Council agreed to extend its financial support for the venue with a £300,000 loan.

The borough’s cabinet has agreed the short-term loan to the SMC, which runs what is the home ground for Doncaster Rovers, Doncaster rugby league club, and Doncaster Rovers Belles.

A report before Mayor Peter Davies from the authority’s head of corporate finance warned turning down the loan request would put the SMC under severe cash flow pressure, and would likely result in the failure of the company.

Shane Chalmers, chief executive of the SMC, said the loan request was purely a security measure and all similar venues knew hosting large scale events like concerts could have an impact on cash flow, because most costs were incurred up front, affecting cashflow in the short term.

He said: “The SMC has worked extremely hard over the past few years and will continue to do so in the future, to develop a business which has gone from incurring substantial financial losses initially, when working on the inherited business plan, to breaking even and then a profit situation.

“Moving forward we will commence further negotiations with tenants regarding their contracts at the stadium and we believe that sensible agreements can be reached whereby they pay for the full range of services they receive from the SMC on match days.

“As a company accountable to Doncaster Council we will continue to ensure that on behalf of the residents in the borough the best deal is brokered.”