Featherstone Rovers ‘open’ to possible ground share with Wakefield Trinity Wildcats

New Featherstone Rovers chief executive, Pat Cluskey. Pictured in front of the newly extended pitch and new stand.'p310a445
New Featherstone Rovers chief executive, Pat Cluskey. Pictured in front of the newly extended pitch and new stand.'p310a445

Featherstone Rovers chief executive Pat Cluskey has said the club is “open to the idea” of a possible ground share with Wakefield Trinity Wildcats.

Wildcats chairman Michael Carter announced last month the club is serving its six months notice to leave its stadium at Belle Vue, which is owned by the Bank of Ireland.

He said the amount they are paying in rent is “unsustainable”, though they are willing to stay if it can be renegotiated.

The club is now considering moving to an alternative venue outside of the city and the decision has left fans to speculate where the Wildcats will play their home games next year.

Mr Cluskey, who took over as Rovers chief executive last year, said the Championship outfit would be willing to let Wildcats use the Big Fellas Stadium.

He said: “We are not adverse to opening the facilities to other fixtures. We’ve done it on a number of occasions already.

“York City Knights have played here and we’ve also hosted games for the Rugby Football League’s representative teams.

“Obviously anything we do would have to be on the right terms for us so if Wildcats wanted to play here for a season it would take some negotiating.

“I understand Wakefield have their own problems to sort but Featherstone is open to talks if that’s something they would consider.”

Rovers installed two new stands transported from Scarborough Football Club at the Big Fellas Stadium last winter.

Mr Cluskey said: “The deal would need to be right - not just financially but there’s other matters to consider as well.

“There is the effect on the playing surface of having another team’s home games played on the pitch.

“That said we are a business and we only open 15 times a year for rugby matches and all businesses need to get extra revenue where they can and a ground share would offer that.”

The Wildcats had hoped to move to a new 12,000 stadium as part of a new 100-acre business park on Newmarket Lane in Stanley.

But a crash in the economy sidelined the plans and no work has since been done on the proposed stadium. The club was also in talks to redevelop Belle Vue but an agreement has yet to be reached.