Best option for Shay is community ownership, according to report

The Shay Stadium east stand.
The Shay Stadium east stand.

An independent report has recommended that the best option for the future of The Shay Stadium is community ownership.

Halifax Town Supporters’ Trust commissioned the report from Principle Six which also suggested that the football and rugby clubs should work together for the benefit of the stadium.

The report said: “We conclude that the model that provides greatest long-term benefit to the wider Calderdale community whilst safeguarding the site for current and potential future users of the site is a community ownership option.”

Principle Six interviewed councillors, senior political figures and the former chief executive of the stadium trust before coming to its conclusion.

The report went on to say: “So, the goals of the financial model underpinning the day-to-day operations is to achieve four key goals:

1) Make it impossible for clubs to run up arrears

2) Enable clubs to share in the success of the stadium in generating non-matchday revenue

3) Enable clubs to make contributions to core fixed costs proportional to their usage

4) Enable clubs to take payment holidays from time to time to assist with cash flow issues”.

The issue came to light following Tony Abbott and Reactiv Media’s failed attempt to buy the Shay in 2013.

After assessing four options the report dismisses the idea of private ownership.

A spokesperson for the Halifax Town supporter’s trust: “The report produced by Dave Boyle is not intended to be “The Solution” for the stadium but more a starting point for the future discussions. It is our opinion that open, honest and frank discussions now need to be held to develop a new and exciting way forward where the council should encompass everyone who has an interest in a successful community asset for Calderdale.”

Commenting on whether the trust could run the stadium he said: “At the present time it would not be suitable for Halifax Town Supporters’ Trust to prepare a bid of any kind though would be more than happy to help develop any proposed new structure. It is unclear what the next step is and the issue regarding the rent arrears may not have helped but future discussions need to be led by the council, as landlord.”