Lidl are holding Boro gates ‘hostage’ - Football club

Work on-going at McCain Stadium.   072235d
in Sport     30/5    pic AH
Work on-going at McCain Stadium. 072235d in Sport 30/5 pic AH

A Scarborough Athletic director fears that the club’s gates from the McCain Stadium are being held “hostage” by supermarket chain Lidl.

Douglas Kendall, who is overseeing the club’s move to the new stadium in Weaponness, said the German giant has cut off all contact with the club and the council and is now concerned the iconic gates could end up on the scrap heap.

The club was initially supposed to take possession of the gates in December, with them being refurbished back to their original condition before being incorporated in the under-construction stadium.

However, Mr Kendall said that a dispute between Lidl and another contractor on separate part of the stadium site has led to the supermarket ignoring the pleas of the club and its supporters.

Mr Kendall said: “It is incredibly frustrating.

“We were all set to come and take away the gates, replacing them with new ones, and then the plug was pulled.

“Months have gone by and emails and calls from myself and the council have gone unanswered.
“We have no idea what is going to happen to the gates, Lidl is just holding on to them and I dread to think they will end 
up in a skip and be lost forever.”

The gates are one of the last remaining links to the old Scarborough Football Club and fans and the new club wanted them to take pride of place at the new Weaponness Stadium.

Chris Bourne, from Scarborough Council, added: “The gates are to be restored by volunteers, including putting back the old metal work designs at the top.

“Whilst we don’t need the gates right now at the new stadium, the restoration will take some time and needs to be started sooner rather than later.

“We’ve just had no communication for months and it is a bit concerning.”

A spokesman for Lidl said: “We were pleased to be granted planning permission in April 2016 to build a brand new Lidl store, and look forward to starting work in the coming weeks.

“The gates are currently still in place to keep the site secure, however we are in dialogue with Scarborough Athletic to organise a convenient time for the gates to be handed over. If work commences before they are collected, our appointed contractor will ensure that they are securely stored on site.

“We are extremely grateful for all the support that we have received for the new store, and would like to thank everyone for their patience and understanding whilst we enter this next phase of the development.”

Mr Kendall has since added that he received a call from the company after the Scarborough News article went public.