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League One football team Rochdale AFC has bought out the council’s shares in its Spotland Stadium, and now owns 100 per cent of the facility.

Shares owned by Rochdale Council in Stadium Company – the firm set up to manage Spotland – will transfer to Rochdale AFC, which will pay the the original outlay of £100,000 (US$144,648, €127,921). The stake owned by the Rugby League Facilities Trust will also transfer to the ownership of the football club.

Loans of £529,000 (US$765,190, €676,873) that the Stadium Company has outstanding with the council will be consolidated and repaid over nine years at commercial rates. As part of the deal, Rochdale Hornets Rugby League Football Club has signed a long-term lease to continue playing at the 10,000-capacity ground.

Rochdale AFC chair Chris Dunphy said it has been the club’s “desire for the last 10 years” to regain complete ownership of Spotland after the council became a shareholder in 1991.

“Spotland Stadium remains the largest sporting venue within the Rochdale borough and its acquisition is a huge stride forward for the football club,” he added. “It presents a significant opportunity to expand the vital income streams for the club moving forwards.”

Richard Farnell, of Rochdale Borough Council, said the transaction represented “a good deal for Rochdale’s biggest sporting organisations and for the taxpayers”.

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League One football team Rochdale AFC has bought out the council’s shares in its Spotland Stadium, and now owns 100 per cent of the facility.
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Rochdale Borough Council has owned shares in Spotland Stadium since 1991 / Football Association
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