Date: 9th February 2007 at 4:39pm
Written by:

”Rotherham United launched a High Court bid to stop the Booth Family from repossessing Millmoor last week.”

Millmoor was only made fit for use for this season because of a lot of hard work by the new board and a lot of expenditure to bring it up to standard. Nearly £200,000 was spent to get Millmoor into a fit state of repair that the Football League would accept.

The High Court bid to have the leases overturned has stopped any progress on any deal with the council until both the legal issues are settled.

Council Chief Executive, Mike Cuff, told the Advertiser ‘We have informed CF Booth Limited and Rotherham United that the negotiations which began recently in relation to the ground will now be halted. The situation will be reviewed again when the litigation is complete.`

The Millers` Financial Director, Giles Brearley, said,` we are not going to spend a penny on redeveloping Millmoor until all the legal matters are settled. What would be the point?`

CF Booth Limited took the Club to County Court this week over rent arrears of £13,000. The Club launched a High Court bid to have their leases overturned last Friday and stop the Booth Family repossessing the ground.

Mr Brearley said, ‘November was a difficult month because we only had one home game. The cash flow tightened up and special skills were needed to manage the situation. But the cash flow issues were reversed in December because we had four home games.

‘Paul Douglas, Chief Operating Officer, approached the stadium owners at the end of November and explained that we would struggle to pay December`s rent on time but would be in a position to rectify the matter by the end of that month.

‘Unfortunately, within days, the owners resorted to the legal terms included in the lease and their solicitors served the club with a ‘breach notice` and also claimed the legal costs involved. This order demanded all payments in full within seven days, which gave us no leeway at all.

‘The club made further approaches to the owners, all to no avail. The owners then served a ‘Repossession of the Ground` hearing with Rotherham United being asked to pick up the tab.

‘Rotherham United have honoured all previous payments due on the lease and its other attached onerous liabilities and we were disappointed with the behaviour of the owners.

‘The board asked for assistance with paying for the repairs in the summer from the owners but got nowhere and later asked for help with the Millmoor Lane stand roof and this was also declined, with the club paying for it all.

‘The club has instructed its lawyers and will address the legal issues head on, but it should never have come to this. This aggressive behaviour has opened a can of worms.`