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Volume 6 No. 212


A High Court judge will decide whether Northern Premier League side FC United’s "controversial new stadium can be built," according to Mike Keegan of the MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS. A judicial review into the proposed 5,000 capacity stadium in Manchester's Moston district will be held in Manchester on Dec. 18. Residents opposed to the plans "launched legal proceedings" after Manchester council gave the breakaway club permission to build the ground on the site of Ronald Johnson Playing Fields last year. The sixth division side FC United, formed in protest at the Glazer family’s takeover of ManU, had "hoped to start work on the new ground this summer." The stadium is set to cost £4.6M ($7.3M) (MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS, 11/28).

The home stadium of Bundesliga club Hannover 96, the AWD-Arena, "will be renamed," according to the SID. After the stadium's current naming-rights partner, financial service AWD, had been taken over by insurance company Swiss Life, the current sponsorship name "is supposed to be erased." The new name of the former Niedersachsenstadion, which opened in '54 and currently has a capacity of 49,000," has not been decided yet." In addition, the neighboring arena, the former Stadionsporthalle, "also faces a name change" (SID, 11/28).

Southwell racecourse is "to be closed for the rest of the year owing to flood damage," according to James Richardson of the London DAILY STAR. The course, "currently under seven to nine inches of water," had already lost the additional meeting scheduled for Wednesday, which has been transferred to Wolverhampton. It will also lose the jumps meeting scheduled for Tuesday and "eight all-weather Flat meetings due to be held at the track later in December." Course Clerk Roderick Duncan said, “We had just short of 50 millimeters of rain on Saturday and going into Sunday, and we’ve had a further 10 or more since. We have ongoing talks with the Environment Agency and Trent Valley Drainage Board to improve this situation in the future.” The track reported that the drying out and repair process is "already in progress with the hope that water levels subside and racing can resume in January" (DAILY STAR, 11/28).

Blue Square Bet Premier fifth division football club Stockport County has reached an agreement with Cheshire Sport to run Edgeley Park on a ''day-to-day basis," according to the BBC. Cheshire Sport, a company set up by Premiership rugby Sale Sharks co-Owner Brian Kennedy in '03 to oversee both teams, "remains the owner of the ground." It has reduced County's rent payments by 65% and "handed full control of the running of the stadium to the football club. Stockport and Sale began sharing Edgeley Park in '03 when the two clubs merged (BBC, 11/28). In Manchester, John McDougall reported Stockport was handed a £75,000 ($120,000) lifeline earlier this year by Kennedy after they "struggled to keep up with stadium occupancy payments." Stockport County Chair Peter Snape said, "This is a great day in the history of Stockport County Football Club. The agreement not only reduces County’s rent payments, but also "gives the club full control of Edgeley Park’s conference and banqueting facilities" (MANCUNIAN MATTERS, 11/28).

Sport Wales and the Welsh Target Shooting Federation is set to open a new "elite shooting range for high performance athletes," according to Gareth Griffiths of SOUTH WALES ECHO. The £100,000 ($160,000) facility will become the new headquarters for elite and performance shooters in Wales "aiming to win world and Commonwealth glory." The only range of its kind in Wales, the six-lane facility has been kitted out with the latest laser target equipment to "give Welsh shooters the best possible preparation." National coach John Dallimore said, "With the next generation laser equipment that’s been purchased I would say it’s a more impressive facility than was used for the Olympic and Paralympic competition" (SOUTH WALES ECHO, 11/28).