CRUNCH talks look set to be held between Bromsgrove Sporting bosses and council chiefs as the football club tries to reduce its rent deal at the Victoria Ground.
John Teece, the club’s director, told The Standard the club was unhappy with the current agreement and was hoping to re-negotiate with Bromsgrove District Council.
Since securing a 21-year lease in 2010, the Rouslers have been forking out £14,400 each year to the authority to play at the site, despite an historic legal agreement which specifies the land must be used by a football club.
Teece described the deal as the ‘economics of a barmy house’ as it is seven times more than Redditch United is paying its borough council to ply its trade at the Valley Stadium.
Sporting, which won the Les James Challenge Cup last season and came second in the league, narrowly missing out on promotion, has also received a grant of £150,000 that was used to make improvements to the ground.
And Teece, who has recently stepped down as chairman of the club, is hoping the revamp will strengthen their case to get a lower rent for the ground which was the former home of Bromsgrove Rovers before it folded.
“What Redditch have done is argued that they run junior teams,” he said.
“But now we run other teams as well and we also do a lot for the community with the aged, the infirm and Slimming World to improve health and well-being, so that is our next move – to argue that point and see whether there can be some parallel with Redditch.”
Teece said Sporting would welcome any reduction but added he had received nothing but a ‘negative’ response from the council.
“We have been doing it for five years, we have not gone under yet, which tells you something,” he said.
“It is just a struggle and what it means is that there is nothing spare to improve the team.
“There are various things we would like to do, but we can’t.
“It is just unfair that the benefactor gave this for football to be played on.
“I doubt any of the benefactors ever expected that the council would try and make money out of it.”
A spokeswoman from Bromsgrove District Council said the authority would be willing to hold talks with the club once they had contacted them.
“We work closely with Bromsgrove Sporting as it is an important part of our district and if approached by the club we will of course meet with them to discuss what support can be offered,” she said.
“Currently the club operates under a commercial lease from the council and any decisions we take will have to reflect this and the fact that the council coffers are to provide services for the whole of the district.”