Taxpayers to foot another bill for crisis hit Keepmoat

Keepmoat Stadium.
Keepmoat Stadium.

The £32M Keepmoat Stadium, built with public money, is to be bailed out again by taxpayers after Doncaster Council’ cabinet approved a further financial hand out.

An additional £170,000 is to be pumped into the Stadium Management Company running the Keepmoat Stadium only six months after an emergency £300,000 bail-out was agreed.

Forecast accumulated losses by the end of March this year are estimated to be in the region of £2M.

At a cabin meeting mayor Peter Davies said the decision to approve the £170,000 grant and agree the extension of the £1M overdraft guarantee until March 2013 was done with a heavy heart.

Speaking at Wednesday’s Mansion House meeting he said: “It is a cautionary tale. Councils should never get involved in the running and building of football stadiums.

“It was a mug’s game from the start and here we are picking up the pieces from past idiocies.

“This is dreadful situation we have inherited.

“I do this with grave reservation and a heavy heart.”

Mr Davies said he hoped this would be the last time the council would be left to pick up the pieces, but said they had been left with no alternative on this occasion.

It is understood that ongoing negotiations to pass control of the stadium, which opened in 2006, to Doncaster Rovers are likely to result in along-term lease agreement with the club.

The council, which financed the stadium’s construction, agreed to fund a £300,000 loan last June to stop the company defaulting.

It is understood that providing funding until the end of the football season would provide an opportunity for Rovers to take control.