RUFC - Q &A with Tony Stewart
Rotherham United Chairman, Tony Stewart took a question and answer session at tonight's Open Forum.
Is Parkgate the only place in your mind for the new ground
I have been speaking with Roger Stone and Mike Cuff from Rotherham Borough Council and there are alternatives but our preference is Parkgate Retail Park - infact, we are hellbent on moving there. We think the location is superb and there are plans for two roads, one going in and one going out.
You know the League demand that we move back to Rotherham but it was me who gave the deadline of four years. I think we could do it before but this will give us time to get things right.
We are having steering committee meetings monthly to get things moving. My twin brother, Terry, is the Commercial Director, and he has been going out and looking round new grounds like Doncaster's and the one being built at Chesterfield. We haven't actually made up our minds about the capacity of the new ground but expect it to be somewhere around twelve to fifteen thousand with a view to being able to extend if required.
Who is on the Steering Committee
Mike Cuff, Carl Battersby, engineers from the Borough Council, representatives from Rotherham Titans Rugby Club. We've had some private guys in to give us updates on other stadiums. You know it's for us to go to the Council and tell them what we want. I don't see there being any obstacles in the way of us getting a new ground. There are things I know but I can't reveal yet but we are very optimistic and everything is positive and we are planning for the future.
Someone made the point that the majority of fans have been to many football grounds and know them as well as anyone and Mr Stewart agreed saying, I welcome any suggestions, after all it is a Rotherham United Fans Stadium. Please tell me anything that you think will help.
It's a lot of money to be found in four years. Where is the money coming from and who will own the stadium
I would not proceed with any stadium unless Rotherham United have more than fifty per cent control in it. It will be owned by Rotherham United.
We will raise some of the money by sponsorship - we will get the money.
Are we financially stable and have all the creditors been paid
We have no outstanding debts.
We have a four year business plan. The first year we plotted to lose money. We have to get the commercial side of things sorted to do with raising sponsorship and hospitality. We want to get the investment up and running. For the first time in ages Rotherham United are in the black.
I do believe that Rotherham United will be able to finance it's existance in four years time. It's not just about getting a fix this season it's moving forward. WE ARE AMBITIOUS - it's all about fire and passion. WE DO KNOW WHAT WE ARE DOING