Wakefield in groundshare talks after Belle Vue purchase talks stall

Wildcats coach Chris Chester at Belle Vue.
Wildcats coach Chris Chester at Belle Vue.
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Wakefield chairman Michael Carter says he has re-opened ground-sharing talks for next season after being frustrated at the lack of progress over the planned re-purchase of Belle Vue.

Carter, who rescued the club from the threat of financial ruin three years ago, revealed in February that the Super League club were considering a bid to buy back their stadium freehold after it was put up for sale by The Bank of Ireland at an asking price of around £600,000.

But Carter says his efforts have been thwarted and he is now looking to move the club out of Belle Vue from the start of 2017.

Writing in Trinity’s programme for Sunday’s home match against St Helens, Carter said: “I was told the issues surrounding Belle Vue should have all been done and dusted by Easter and here we are three months later and yet again nothing has happened.

“It is my firm belief that there is at least one party involved in the negotiations about the ground that is actively conspiring against the club and the Stadium Trust to their financial benefit.

“With this in mind, I have again instigated talks with another club about a ground share next season.”

In the past Carter has spoken to Dewsbury and Doncaster about possible ground-sharing.

Belle Vue has been home to Wakefield for more than 120 years but is run down and badly in need of an overhaul, while plans to move into a new development at Newmarket, just off the M62 motorway, have so far failed to materialise.

“As things stand, it a depressing place to work and play in,” Carter added. “It is a scandal that it is now four years since Newmarket was approved and yet the people of Wakefield have not seen one single benefit from this.

“The club has a fantastic opportunity right now to really push on and be a proud member of Super League but to do that it needs a modern facility that can be used all week long.

“The time for talk has ended and the need for action is apparent.

“I don’t want to ground-share with another club but we can no longer continue with Belle Vue as it is.”