County hopeful of new Rodney Parade deal
NEWPORT County AFC are hopeful of reaching agreement this week on a new ten-year lease to stay at Rodney Parade.
County need the lease by the end of February to meet Football League requirements should they be promoted or reach the play-offs this season.
New chief executive Dave Boddy is in talks with the ground’s owners Newport RFC and Newport Gwent Dragons and the Exiles believe that they are making good progress on extending the current three-year deal.
County are fifth in the Blue Square Bet Premier after last night’s matches featuring all their promotion rivals, five points behind new leaders Wrexham with two games in hand.
The club does retain the option of returning to Spytty Park should talks break down, but that is seen as a last resort.
Manager Justin Edinburgh is certain that going back to their former home would be a backward step, despite recent problems with the pitch at Rodney Parade.
“I think it was the most important thing we did last summer for the football club to progress and I think that it would be the biggest signing we can make again to continue the progress we’ve made,” said the Exiles boss.
“We want to continue to grow and get to the next stage and I think it’s vital that we stay at Rodney Parade.
“The pitch has been a little bit heavy but it’s far better than where we were last year.”
Edinburgh also suggested that should a ten-year lease be secured it could lead to improvements in facilities at their new home.
“If we can get the lease sorted we’ll look to do extensive work over the summer and the pitch will be in an even better state next season,” he added. “For us to progress we need to remain here and it would be a disappointing step to go back to Spytty Park.”