Updated: Friday, 18th April 2014 @ 6:30am

'Lifeline' deal saves Stockport County as owners Cheshire Sport knock 65% off club's stadium rent bill

'Lifeline' deal saves Stockport County as owners Cheshire Sport knock 65% off club's stadium rent bill

By John McDougall

Edgeley Park will now be run on a daily basis by Stockport County after the club reached a lifeline agreement with stadium owners Cheshire Sport.

The Hatters have negotiated rent deduction agreements worth 65% with Cheshire Sport to manage the stadium day-to-day, after alleviating recent rent problems.  

Stockport were handed a £75,000 lifeline earlier this year by club owner Brian Kennedy after they struggled to keep up with stadium occupancy payments.

Lord Peter Snape, Stockport County chairman, said: “This is a great day in the history of Stockport County Football Club.

“We as a football club can now move forward in the knowledge that all monies generated at Edgeley Park are ours.

“The generous rent reduction we have negotiated with Brian Kennedy and Ian Blackhurst is so important to helping the football club.”

The agreement not only reduces County’s rent payments, but also gives the club full control of Edgeley Park’s conference and banqueting facilities.

The stadium was also home to Aviva Premiership rugby union side Sale Sharks for nine years, until their move to the Salford City Stadium for the start of this season.

Ian Blackhurst, Sale Sharks co-owner and Cheshire Sport chairman, believes the deal is a generous one and hopes the Hatters go from strength to strength.

“Hopefully with the deal in place the club will go on from strength to strength and ultimately regain their place in the Football League,” he said.

“We are reassured by the board of Stockport County that they have a business model that works.

“The club and their loyal supporters have wanted to run the stadium for a long time and with the affordable rental agreement the club’s future is looking bright.”

County have called Edgeley Park home for 110 years – moving into the stadium in 1902 – and currently sit 14th in the Blue Square Bet Premier.

 

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