NEWPORT County’s bid to move to Rodney Parade took a huge step forward last night with the news that contracts are being drawn up for the Football Conference.
That would suggest agreement has been reached between the Exiles, Newport RFC and Newport Gwent Dragons, leaving the Conference as the only remaining stumbling block.
The deadline for the plan to be presented to the Conference is 5pm this afternoon.
County chairman Chris Blight said: “We’ve put a tremendous amount of work into this and it’s now with the legal guys.
“Solicitors are drawing up the contracts and they must be with Dennis Strudwick at the Conference today.
“Speaking to Will Godfrey of Newport RFC and Martyn Hazell of the Dragons we all know that this is something that should happen for the city of Newport.
“It’s the first opportunity to test the relationship between the city’s football and rugby clubs.
“There will be obstacles to overcome but we’ve got to be brave.”
County manager Justin Edinburgh is fully behind the groundshare proposals.
He has been working hard to rebuild his squad since the FA Trophy final defeat at Wembley and believes a move to Rodney Parade would be a great help in attracting players to the club.
“Rodney Parade would be the best signing we could make this summer,” said Edinburgh.
“If the club is going to evolve and grow and get back into the Football League then it is essential we move.
“It will help me massively in bringing players to this club. It needs to happen.”
Edinburgh currently has just seven players signed up for next season, two of whom are not in his plans, and he lost star man Sam Foley to Yeovil Town this week, but he is unconcerned.
“There are 20 or 30 names I’m looking at and I am well down the line with one or two but I will never announce anything until the deal is done,” he explained.
“I’ll make sure I bring the right people to this club – I think I’ve shown that already since I’ve been here and I don’t want to rush into anything.
“Every fan wants signings quickly and I’m the same but I’m still picking up the pieces from what happened here last summer. Hopefully things can be done shortly.”