Date: 16th October 2009 at 9:21am
Written by:

Rotherham United Chairman, Tony Stewart has said time and time again that, while he is at the helm, there will be NO return to Millmoor.

‘Modern football stadia have moved on and Millmoor does not fulfil the criteria,’ he told The Advertiser this week. ‘We had talks with the landlords before we left and they broke down because we could not reach an agreement. There is no point in going back and opening up old disagreements.

‘Football grounds are not just about a pub and a hot dog stand any more. They have to meet the needs of the community by housing facilities for helath, education and so on.

‘Our new stadium will have to be a seven day a week operation to generate the income and revenue required to meet the aspirations and ambitions of Rotherham United.’

But now, Rotherham Civic Society are having their two penneth and they believe that moving back to Millmoor could still be the club’s best option and they have publicly called for Mr Stewart and Rotherham Borough Council to broker a deal with the Booth family, who own Millmoor.

The Society claim that moving back to Millmoor would make better financial and environmental sense than spending £15m to £20m on a new stadium.

Peter Hawkridge, Secretary of the Society believes that the council should make a compulsory purchase order on Millmoor, saying, ‘Given the lack of progress on finding a suitable alternative site, we believe it is time for reconsideration of the Millmoor option. It is no coincidence that Millmoor was, for so many years, the home of Rotherham County and then Rotherham United. It’s a good location for a football ground being within easy walking distance of the transport interchange and the railway station as well as being close to many principal bus routes.

‘The spending of £20m on a new stadium would saddle the football club and the council with debt for a generation.

‘On the face of it, Millmoor could be turned into a decent stadium by completing the main stand, laying out a car park and rebuilding the Millmoor Lane Stand. And, it may be quicker to do all this than acquire a new site, establish it’s planning status throught the myriad of environmental and traffic impact statements and then build the stadium.’

Mr Stewart said, ‘Even if there was a compulsory purchase order it would take two years and we haven’t got that amount of time to play with.’

Personally, I think Millmoor was a lot more than a hot dog stand and a pub. It was our home. I, for one, felt comfortable there.

The Advertiser have an online poll asking should the Millers Return to Millmoor. Visit rotherhamadvertiser.co.uk to have your say.