Sheffield Eagles at risk over stadium row

Sheffield Eagles are at loggerheads with local authorities again over their stadium.

The Eagles claim that the cost of playing out of the Olympic Legacy Park has proven to be almost four times greater than the £30,000 figure originally estimated, with Sheffield saying the figure they are paying to the council far outweighs what other clubs pay in comparison elsewhere.

A request to get a repayable loan from Sheffield City Council has been sent, but the Eagles claim there is “little appetite” from the council to grant it.

A statement read: “Higher costs for facilities than agreed along with other costs not anticipated are now strangling the club and its future existence which is even more heartbreaking after the hard work gone in to ensure the club returned to the city after our home was taken away from us in 2013.

“During our four-year life on the road the club never requested any support from Sheffield City Council or other parties associated with the Olympic Legacy Park, and when the decision was taken to award the site to Sheffield United and Scarborough Group the club handled that decision with dignity and respect, to ensure as smooth and quick as possible development of a suitable stadium on the site.

“The club has now requested financial support from the City Council through a repayable loan (with interest) to bridge the gap until a stadium is built on the site. Disappointingly, however, there is “Little Appetite” from Sheffield City Council to grant that, even after a senior council official described the Olympic Legacy Park when handed to Sheffield Eagles to play on as: “we are renting to you a stadium not fit for purpose”, and strongly implied that £40,000 of the costs towards temporary seating and toilets would be covered. Again, this support hasn’t materialised, and no assistance will come.

“The club and all those involved with it will continue to work extremely hard as they always have done to ensure the best future for Sheffield Eagles and Rugby League in the city but the odds, through no fault of our own, are sadly stacked against us once more.”