Carluke Rovers may have to move outside Carluke to play home games due to an “unsustainable” rent increase at their John Cumming Stadium ground, it is claimed.
A Rovers source told the Carluke and Lanark Gazette that landlords South Lanarkshire Council are proposing to increase Rovers’ monthly fees from £450 to £850, a hike which the cash strapped junior club couldn’t afford.
Our source said: “There is no way we are going to pay £850 a month to play at John Cumming Stadium.
“It is just not sustainable.
“The council see that spectators are paying £5 each to get into home games so we’re making money.
“But we only get an average of 30 people coming to these games.
“We also make money through sportsman’s dinners and lotteries.
“But in a year we might show a profit of £1000 if we are lucky.
“Putting up the rent by such a vast amount would wipe this out within a few months.
“The big concern would be the club going out of business.
“At the very least we would have to move outwith Carluke – probably to a North Lanarkshire Council pitch where the rental fees are less – to survive.”
A spokesperson for South Lanarkshire Leisure and Culture said: “We have been involved in ongoing discussions with Carluke Rovers over the discounted hire rate they have benefitted from at John Cumming Stadium.
“The reduced rent offered to the club was an interim measure agreed and implemented to support the club’s move to the stadium in 2011.”
The South Lanarkshire Leisure spokesman added: “However it has always been made clear that this could not be a permanent arrangement.
“We have been working with the club to encourage development of a new business plan and have offered a staged move to the full letting rate to support the implementation of such a plan.”
On the park, Carluke Rovers went second in the table with nine points from four games after winning 4-3 in Saturday’s McBookie.com League One encounter at Glasgow Perthshire.
Carluke scored after just two minutes when Paul Donaghy converted the rebound after Ciaran Lafferty’s initial shot had come back off a post.
But the hosts were level within four minutes when Connor Park shot past Dan Terry, who had stopped an initial effort with his feet.
And it was 2-1 for Perthshire on 21 minutes when Craig Smith beat the offside trap and calmly sidefooted past Terry.
Lafferty brought Carluke level from close range after Dom Chiedu’s long throw was knocked on by Donaghy.
Ryan Gemmell headed Perthshire 3-2 up before half-time but Rovers won it thanks to Lafferty’s crisp shot and Mark Weir’s brilliant late free-kick.
Meanwhile, Rovers are keen to set up a feeder team in the area for youngsters born in 2005 – please call 07796 690499 for more information.