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Doncaster support on rent discussions

26 December 2012

Rovers chairman John Ryan offers moral support to Sky Blues after own experiences on stadium rent

A new rental contract recently agreed between the local council at Doncaster and Doncaster Rovers, highlights the huge difference between the rental agreements of the two League One clubs and their respective stadium landlords..

Doncaster Rovers Chairman John Ryan was so concerned by the plight of the Sky Blues and their current rent position that he approached the club's Directors in the Boardroom before Coventry's recent away match at the Keepmoat Stadium with an offer of moral support a well as full details of the Rovers' new 99 year lease agreed with Doncaster Council, which is dramatically different from the £1 million a year rent Doncaster Rovers paid in the Championship. (Rates were not charged to the club). Both clubs were relegated from the Championship last season.

The new rental agreement includes:

- 99 year lease agreement - all assets transferred for £1
- £100,000 per year rent
- Annual rent reduced to £10,000 per year for first 9 years to account for existing naming rights agreement
- A wide range of annual Community obligations included as consideration
- Responsibility for all running costs with exception of insurance contribution
- £75,000 per year contribution from Doncaster Council to insurances
- Full operational control
- A cheque to the Club from the Council for £400,000 for refurbishment of the Keepmoat stadium
- Stadium to maintained in a reasonable condition, fair wear and tear expected
- Permission required from Council for significant changes to structure
- Permission required from Council for changes of use
- A £7000 a year lease for the club training ground
- All food and beverage and stadium income for the club's revenues 365 days a year

Tim Fisher Chief Executive of Coventry City FC welcomed the support of the Doncaster Rovers Chairman in highlighting the massive support of Doncaster Council to their local football club.

"We have to say a big thank you to John Ryan who has been Chairman of Doncaster Rovers for the past 15 years. He has clearly demonstrated that a stadium landlord, in his case the local council, and football club can work together in the interests of the community that both organisations serve. It is obviously an incredible partnership in the interests of the people, not just supporters, and serves as an example to all that a football club and its stadium is a unique community asset which should not be shackled by commercial self interest.

"John Ryan commented that Coventry City were the best side Doncaster has played all season, after our superb 4-1 away victory, but little wonder that they are doing so well on the field near the top of the league, after building an excellent partnership with their stadium landlord off the pitch, to create a solid platform for the future of the club.

"This is the type of business model that we are desperate to agree for the Ricoh in order to create a sustainable future for the club.

"Our negotiations continue to find a solution with ACL that is hopefully in the interests of all parties including ,most importantly, our football club which celebrates 130 years in the city next year serving the community of Coventry which is its lifeblood.

"This city without a football club is unthinkable but we have to be clear about recently leaked information such as reducing the rent to £400,000 a year and other related numbers. This reduced rental figure is for a fixed period of three years - unfortunately that wasn't stated. The overall figure we have been paying since the club came to the Ricoh has been nearly £1.5 million a year including rates and other high charges which are now the subject of a detailed review - far in excess of the Doncaster rent agreement and the average of £170,000 paid by clubs who rent their stadiums in League One.

"We simply want a fair rent which is in line with our League One status and which will enable us to invest more money on the pitch to allow Mark Robins to continue his excellent work . The future of the football club is the important issue here and we need to resolve this situation in order to focus on rebuilding the club back to its rightful position in football," he added.

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