Monday, December 18, 2006

Lions chief rules out FC alliance

Source: M.E.N.

Neil Barker

SWINTON Lions rugby league club chairman John Kidd today ruled out a ground-share scheme at Agecroft with local football club FC United.

Swinton bosses were approached by FC United and held informal talks on the possibility of the two clubs ground-sharing should Swinton set up home at a new stadium in Agecroft.

Lions chairman John Kidd today revealed FC United have contacted him to say they will not be pursuing the matter.

Kidd told MEN Sport: "We held informal discussions with people from FC United at their request regarding the possibility of them playing at Agecroft.

"FC United have since got back in touch with us to say they have no further plans to pursue this particular venture.

"I can't see it happening now but we were happy to talk with them. Regarding the new development at Agecroft, I hope to know in the next three or four months when a possible start date can be set."


Jules Spencer, the spokesman for FC United, said: "It's always been our intention to have our own ground. We are keeping our options open but there is nothing concrete happening at the moment.

"Our deal with Bury to use Gigg Lane lasts for two more seasons after this one. Preferably, we would want a stadium within Manchester itself.

"That process could last five years as was the experience for Salford Reds. We are working hard to provide what our supporters want."

Meanwhile, Swinton chairman Kidd says his immediate concern is making sure the Lions build on last season's success in the National League.

Swinton will play a pre-season friendly against Salford at Sedgley Park on February 4, the week before the official season starts with an opening match in the Northern Rail Cup.

Swinton will travel to Hilton Park for a Boxing Day clash with Leigh. They have also fixed up a New Year clash with Widnes.

Meanwhile, neighbours Salford Reds are in full training ahead of a new Super League season and will again finalise plans in Jacksonville, Florida.

Football director Steve Simms says: "We have always reaped the benefits from warm weather training - a great deal of work was done in the US last year on our defensive structures and we will again be working thoroughly in readiness for what is a very important season."