Date:Wednesday May 5 2010
Rotherham United Chairman, Tony Stewart was a guest on Radio Sheffield`s Football Heaven this evening.
Fans were invited to phone and text in to the Millers Chairman while Seth Bennet also questioned him.
The new ground was obviously the main topic of conversation and the Chairman said that Chesterfield had kindly shown him round their new ground and they have learnt a lot by using that as a template. 'The design and the workmanship that has gone into Chesterfields new ground is something they can both look forward to and be proud of.
'For our stadium we have to get the outline planning in for the end of this month and then we are told that it could take around three months to get that approved and then we can go into full planning. I am saying that our fans will be able to see more detailed drawings of the stadium this month. What we`ve learnt from being down at Don Valley is that we don`t want the draughts, you want the nearness to the pitch and you want the acoustics to be right.
'We will be moving into the new stadium for August 2012. I am told that we can hit that target and have a few months to spare so there is no panic.
'I think the best thing we did was move away from Millmoor because, with the recession, we may have thought about staying there longer. And, with moving to Don Valley, it gave us a timescale of four years to get a new stadium built.
Asked about the listed building at the Guest and Chrimes site, where the new stadium is to be built, Mr Stewart said, 'The build is away from the Guest and Chrimes factory so it can go ahead without the demolition. At the moment my people are talking to the English Heritage people and they will decide that it can be either taken down or it will have to stay. But it won`t interfere with the stadium.
Talking about Manager, Ronnie Moore, it was clear that Mr Stewart really admires him and thinks that the decision to either rest or not rest players before the play-off games will be a tough one for his manager, but he said that he doesn`t interfere with that side of things. 'Tactically,` Mr Stewart said, 'he knows what he`s doing and whatever he does it will be what is best for Rotherham United. He`s done an incredible job and I like the man. He is experienced and he speaks openly. His integrity is high and he`s a good judge. I respect him and I think he`s the man to take us forward.
Talking about top scorer, Adam Le Fondre, the Chairman said, there was no truth in the rumours that the striker had signed a pre-contract with Barnsley and that he had two years yet to run on his contract with Rotherham and is part of the club moving forward. He also said he wasn`t worried about anyone coming in for the Millers star striker and that he thought everything was in control.
Mr Stewart did say that any monies got from players going out would be ploughed back into the club. 'We are an ambitious club,` Mr Stewart said, 'and we are aiming for the Championship. And, it`s no good talking with your mouth and leaving your wallet in your back pocket.`
Mr Stewart had a few things to say about the way Notts County had run their business this season, saying that the sort of money they had spent which Rotherham, and other League Two Clubs would not have been allowed to spend, he was sure, that at some stage soon, there would be a post mortem about it. 'To finish fourth and know full well that the Champions of League Two have spent more money than they had been entitled too means, that behind the scenes, there`s a lot to be done. I like the rules to fit all and not just some.`
Mr Stewart said that they had been deliberating over season tickets for next season but the prices should be announced soon. He also spoke about the tickets for the play-offs saying that he was getting the facts and figures through and hoped to be able to release some information regarding that in the next forty-eight hours.
The Chairman did admit that they had looked at various options but there was no truth in the rumour that the club were going to be playing at Bramall Lane. 'It`s the logistics of it, the preparation, it`s the commercial things like advertising boards and we`ve weighed up the pros and cons and we have got no thoughts of leaving Don Valley.`
Mr Stewart said that the away support for the Millers was fantastic and that he and the players appreciated it.
Speaking about the new training ground that is to be built, the Chairman said, 'We`ve been given options to the training ground which I am looking at. Designs and drawings have been done on the site at Wingfield but, there have been certain other sites that have been offered to me in the last six weeks. I can`t say anymore because talks are going on at the moment that might interfere with the negotiations. Some of our training is at Parkgate, some is at Wath - we are using various venues at the moment. We are sampling one or two grounds and Parkgate, at this time, is fulfilling the needs of the players because they can have a game of football and a get together and it`s got a homely feeling. Something, very soon, dynamically will unfold. It`s a work in progress and probably, by the end of this month, I will be able to come out with some comments about the training ground.`
And the Chairman`s prediction? 'Success and more success.`
Date:Wednesday May 5 2010
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