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[06 AUG 98] BASKETBALL NEWS
Crusaders And Rugby Club Look To The Butts

Coventry Crusaders owner Dip Donaldson could decide the future of the city’s rugby club.

Dip Donaldson, Coventry CrusadersThe basketball supremo is hoping to learn in the next few weeks if he has been successful in striking a deal with Rank to play senior Crusaders games at the new 4,000 seat arena off Spon Street.

If he reaches agreement with the leisure giants then the rugby club will be able to develop a new ground along side the Crusaders planned training academy at the Butts Stadium.

But, he warned today, if no agreement is reached with Rank he wants to develop his own three-court basketball arena on the Butts, leaving the rugby club without a home to go to.

The rugby club was bought out of receivership this week but its Coundon Road ground has been sold to developers Bryant Homes and they only have a licence to play there for two more years.

The new club has already had talks with the City Council and is looking to develop the Butts.

Donaldson said:

Dip Donaldson, Coventry Crusaders"I am pursuing a deal with Rank at the moment.  Everyone seems to think that is a foregone conclusion, but that is not the case. The council and Rank have been very positive, but until I see a signed contract in my hand then I am not taking anything for granted.

"If we do agree a contract, and we have only really talked principles so far, then the idea is to hold games there and press ahead with the academy. If that happens then there would be room at the Butts for the rugby club, but if not I want to create an arena with three courts.

"I know that the council’s preferred option is to see the rugby club there and that would be great.  I have nothing against the rugby club or their plans, but I want to be sure that everything is agreed with Rank.

"I have been at this a long time and have seen momentum before, but it is not concrete and we have to wait and see what happens."

Donaldson is due to meet Rank for further talks tomorrow.

John McGuigan, City Development Director, said:

"There is a lot of momentum. It is a golden opportunity to try and get the basketball and rugby clubs together at the Butts. It is very close to the city centre – let’s make positive use of the assets we have."

Rugby club officials met the council on Monday and discussed a possible move to the Butts.
 

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CWN / Sport / Basketball / News / 6 Aug 98

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