Halifax rugby club in pay dispute with Council

Actions from Fax v Whitehaven, at the Shay, Halifax
Actions from Fax v Whitehaven, at the Shay, Halifax

A row has erupted between Halifax Rugby League Football Club and Calderdale Council over their payments to play at The Mbi Shay stadium.

The situation was raised at Calderdale’s full Council meeting with the leader Councillor Tim Swift confirming that meetings have taken place between the respective legal departments.

A Calderdale Council spokesperson said: “The Council is taking appropriate enforcement action to require the rugby club to pay the arrears.”

A Freedom of Information request published at the start of February showed the club’s annual rent for 2015/16 was £51,480 - £11,880 more than what FC Halifax Town paid.

According to the FOI eight payments are outstanding totalling £34,320. The Council’s head of Democratic and partnership Services Ian Hughes stated ‘there is a dispute over the recovery of the arrears due to an alleged offset of them from a claim put forward by HRLFC that has yet to be resolved’.

A HRLFC spokesperson insisted the FOI information was not accurate and said: “The Club’s issues with Calderdale Council remain outstanding, but it is inappropriate to discuss them in the public domain at this time.

“The FOI response which is currently in circulation is out of date and substantially understates the club’s payments.”

The rugby league club was founded in 1873, and played at Thrum Hall for 112 years until they sold the land for £1.5 million to ASDA to move to a new stadium in the Super League era.

The club first played at The Shay in the 1998 Super League season.

Calderdale Council signed a sponsorship deal with Sowerby Bridge based MBi Consulting last year which saw the stadium renamed The MBi Shay Stadium.