Fax consider leaving Calderdale as rent talks loom

The Shay Stadium.

The Shay Stadium.

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Halifax could leave the Shay - and the borough of Calderdale completely - if they cannot reach agreement with Calderdale Council on the terms of their lease.

Fax chairman Michael Steele, writing in his programme notes for last weekend’s Championship Shield date with Sheffield, confirmed Calderdale had told the club there would be a price increase in 2017.

With Calderdale also centralising stewarding and ground safety charges, Fax opted to close the South Stand against the Eagles for the first time in their 18-year tenure as a cost-cutting measure.

“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,” wrote Steele.

“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.”

Courier Sport understands the two parties will meet today, with Fax actively considering a move to an alternative venue for the 2017 Championship season.

Rumours of a switch to Keighley’s Cougar Park are, apparently, wide of the mark, although at least one other Championship venue is firmly on the agenda.

Attempts to find a viable alternative within Calderdale have so far drawn a blank.

Privately, Fax officials recognise the inherent danger to the club’s long term future of moving but say it is the only financially viable solution unless a compromise can be reach.

At the moment, it is unclear whether FC Halifax Town are also facing a similar dilemma.