DONCASTER Rovers want to press ahead with plans to take over the Keepmoat Stadium despite their relegation.
The club’s crowds and income is almost certain to be lower next season when playing in League One, with business bosses also predicting the town’s economy will suffer.
Gavin Baldwin, Rovers’ interim chief executive, said that they still wanted to take over the venue from the failing Stadium Management Company which has lost £2.5 million, following the club’s exit from The Championship.
The Free Press exclusively revealed last year that the club were in talks with Doncaster Council about a sell-off.
Mr Baldwin said: “We are looking to the future and will use the coming weeks to review our strategies in order to ensure that Doncaster Rovers is a club that both the fans and local community can engage with and feel part of.
“Our ambitions to take over the running of the Keepmoat Stadium, if a suitable deal can be done, remain resolute.”
Council chiefs are currently investigating the pros and cons of a number of options for the future of the stadium, which opened in 2006 with £32 million of taxpayers’ money. The cost did not include the land value.
Among the options is allowing Rovers to buy the stadium at a much knocked-down cost. Demolition of the site and selling it for development has been looked at by the council, but mayor Peter Davies has vehemently said this was not an option.
Mr Davies said talks between the parties were still ongoing and pledge the SMC would receive no further council funding.
Dan Fell, of Doncaster Chamber, said bars, restaurants and hotels would be the hardest hit businesses by the relegation.