Manager Dave Cooper stands his ground over Showtime Stadium's uncertain future

AFC Ludlow boss Dave Cooper.

AFC Ludlow boss Dave Cooper.

First published in Sport

BOSS Dave Cooper has vowed not to let off-the-field troubles overshadow AFC Ludlow’s first outing of the season.

The West Midlands League Division Two champions travel to FC Stafford in a pre-season friendly this Saturday amid uncertainty over the future of the Showtime Stadium.

The lease holder of the Showtime Stadium, Matt Davies, told the Advertiser he planned to close the door because he could not afford to pay the business rates.

And Shropshire FA chief executive Roy Waterfield has described the situation at the Showtime Stadium as ‘a priority issue’.

AFC Ludlow are one of the tenants of the stadium and Cooper said the club had cancelled a planned committee meeting this week.

Cooper said: “We cancelled our committee meeting on Monday night until we know where we stand about the ground. We need clarification and will be speaking to the West Midlands League.

“We had training last Tuesday and we have been offered by Lee Hassan to use the 3G facilities at Cleobury Mortimer.”

Waterfield had a meeting with Davies, the lease holder, and the landowner on Friday.

He said: “We are concerned about the current situation and we would like to work towards a suitable solution for the continuation of football at the beginning of the season and usage on that site. The meeting was about establishing the facts.”

He added: “The hope is that we can work with everyone to reach a positive outcome for football and the local economy and the local MP is taking an active interest.

“Matt has control of when the facility is open and, in the short-term, he has made a decision to close it. This is a priority issue for us and the discussions are ongoing.”

Cooper said: “We are going on as normal but, on the football side, we don’t know what is happening.”

AFC Ludlow are planning to host musician John Stuart at the Showtime Stadium this Saturday from 8pm to raise money for club funds. For tickets, call Kate Woodhouse on 07969 427759.

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