Halifax could leave The Shay

Halifax could be leaving The Shay.

The Championship club are seriously considering their options ahead of the new season, after Calderdale Council told the club that they would be increasing rent ahead of the new season.

Fax and the council have been involved in a long dispute over loan payments, which resulted in the club instructing their club’s solicitors to apply to the President of the Law Society to appoint an arbitrator to resolve the issue in July.

The disagreement between the two parties relates to the activities of the Council in connection with the club’s use and occupation of the pitch and other facilities at The Shay Stadium, a ground they share with local football team FC Halifax Town.

In February, the two parties had a strong dispute about alleged unpaid rent, with Halifax chairman Michael Steele subsequently describing the situation as ‘untenable’.

Only one stand was opened for the club’s Championship Shield play-off defeat to Sheffield on Sunday, with Steele confirming that the club had done that to ‘verify the minimum cost’ of using the facility, which would ultimately determine whether the club could play at The Shay next season.

Writing in the club’s matchday programme, Steele confirmed that the club had been informed that the council were wanting to increase costs of playing at the facility, which is owned, managed and maintained by the Council.

“Calderdale Council are seeking to increase our ‘rent’ at The Shay, and the costs of staging a match here has risen substantially because of the Council’s control of the stewarding and related safety costs.

“Today’s configuration with the East Stand, only open, gives us the opportunity to verify the minimum cost, if this Stadium, is used for a competitive match under the current safety regime. The result of that exercise will help to determine where the club plays in 2017 and if here, how the ground may be configured.

“More information on that will be announced when we put the 2017 season tickets on sale.”

Halifax have been at The Shay since 1999, after selling their original Thrum Hall ground for £1.5 million to supermarket chain ASDA.