Press Release

Newport FC have called for independent mediation to settle a dispute that could see them have to play all their remaining games away from home this season.
The club has been hit with an eviction notice by Ryde Saints FC with whom it has been sharing Smallbrook Stadium this season.
After taking expert legal advice, Newport says the eviction notice is invalid and has called for fresh negotiations between the two clubs to reach a compromise. If that fails then they have said they would welcome the chance for mediation.
The dispute has arisen because, as part of the original ground-share arrangement, Newport FC agreed to undertake a £4,700 upgrade of the floodlights at Smallbrook.
But the quote on which that agreement was struck has since been found to be flawed with the true cost closer to £40,000. While the cost is far higher than originally envisaged by all the parties, the problem is that the only way to supply Wessex League compliant lighting would require new stanchions at the arena which Island Speedway – the principal leaseholders at Smallbrook – will not allow for safety reasons.
Newport currently pays a match fee to both Ryde Saints and Island Speedway and has agreed to purchase the club a container for storage use.
Newport has also offered a financial compensation package but this has been rejected by Ryde Saints who have issued Newport a notice to quit leaving them homeless and facing the prospect of having to fulfil remaining fixtures by travelling to the mainland as the ‘away’ team.
Pete Westhorpe, secretary, Newport (IW) FC Supporters Trust said he was shocked to read about the notice to quit on social media before receiving an official letter.
He said: “I do not believe Ryde Saints have the right to do this. We are in this position because the plan to upgrade the floodlights to the required standard – which was agreed with Ryde Saints and Island Speedway – has sadly proven to have been flawed.
“This is not something we envisaged or intended as an outcome, and as we have told Ryde Saints and Island Speedway, we certainly would not have entered the groundshare agreement if this was known at that time.
“The simple fact is the original proposal is unworkable as it won’t meet Sydenhams Wessex League requirements and an alternative solution we have explored is not possible because Island Speedway would not allow it – quite rightly – on safety grounds as it would make the track dangerous for speedway.
“This leaves us in a situation where we are contractually obliged to do something that cannot be done.
“The best solution for all parties is to sit down and negotiate a new arrangement to the benefit of all using goodwill. Newport leaving Smallbrook will mean lost revenue for Ryde Saints and also Island Speedway. That’s not productive for anyone.”