Netherdale: Chief ends ground saga at long last

THE long-running stalemate over the SRU's 20-year lease at Netherdale, where the Borders team played, has dogged SRU chief executive Gordon McKie since the day that Scotland's third professional team was shut down.

The SRU has continued to honour the contract despite the ground not being required for its original purpose, with Netherdale rarely selected to host representative matches despite its high standard of facilities.

The matter has at last been resolved, three years after the Borders played their last match at the Galashiels ground. "When we closed the Borders we had to put in place a provision to shut it down, dealing with liabilities at that time," said McKie. "The provision was slightly higher than was ultimately spent. I don't think it is appropriate to comment on the final figure, but I do know that an agreement was reached on the unexpired term of the agreement and that is now a concluded matter.

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"It was a one-off final settlement and there is no on-going financial commitment from the SRU, but part of the agreement was designed to enable the club to continue to invest in the pitch. I do see us using Netherdale in the future because it has undersoil heating, and we have an understanding that we'll try and take more games to Gala."