Bristol

Bristol Rovers appeal over Sainsbury's stadium ruling rejected

Memorial Stadium, Bristol Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Sainsbury's £30m contract to buy the club's 12,000-capacity stadium was signed in December 2011

Bristol Rovers has lost a High Court appeal against a ruling which allowed Sainsbury's to pull out of a deal to buy the club's Memorial Stadium.

The club was granted an appeal after losing a court battle last year over the £30m deal.

Judges have now ruled the supermarket operator lawfully ended its conditional contract to buy the ground. The deal was originally signed in December 2011.

The club said it will now "assess the implications" of the judgement.

A Sainsbury's spokesperson said: "We're pleased that the Court has robustly dismissed Bristol Rover's appeal and ruled that the conditional contract lawfully ended in November 2014.

"We have been trading in Bristol for over 45 years and will continue to work with the local community via our existing stores which are extremely popular with customers."

The £30m contract to buy the club's "old fashioned and dilapidated" 12,000-capacity stadium was signed in December 2011.

The agreed plan was for Sainsbury's to buy the site for a new supermarket, but lease it back to the club while Rovers built a new 21,700-seat stadium in Stoke Gifford.

Planning permission for a new supermarket on the site was not granted until January 2013 and was further delayed by judicial review.

Then Sainsbury's pulled out, arguing conditions had not been met before the "cut-off date" in the agreement.

The League Two side says a new stadium is needed to secure its future.

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