- National Teams
Sheffield Sharks have been left looking for a new home venue for the 2020-21 season after it was announced Ponds Forge will remain closed for the foreseeable future.
The venue’s operators, Sheffield City Trust – a not-for-profit organisation which manages 13 fitness and leisure venues across the Sheffield City Region – is under significant financial pressure due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“The financial implications of the pandemic have meant that as an organisation we’ve been forced into making some really difficult decisions,” Andrew Snelling, chief executive of Sheffield City Trust, told the Sheffield Star.
“It is with regret that I can confirm that we have begun discussions with some of our employees regarding their roles. This is never a decision any organisation wishes to make, but it is one which we’ve taken to protect our long-term future.”
The Sharks sympathise with the decision @SheffCityTrust have taken to not re-open @PondsForge at this time due to COVID-19. We are in constant dialogue to find a positive solution for a playing venue for the 2020-21 season which will be returning in the Autumn. pic.twitter.com/3YuxwuHfux
— The B. Braun Sheffield Sharks (@SheffieldSharks) August 12, 2020
Mr Snelling acknowledge the disappointment around Ponds Forge not reopening, adding:
“It’s important to reiterate; we have no plans to close down Ponds Forge permanently. We will continue to closely monitor the situation and look to open more facilities across our estate as soon as is practical and reasonable to do so.”
Sharks moved to Ponds Forge ahead of last season following 13 years playing at the English Institute of Sport Sheffield – another venue managed by the Sheffield City Trust.
“The Sharks sympathise with the conditions through which the decision by Sheffield City Trust have taken to not re open Ponds Forge at this time due to the circumstances of COVID-19,” the club said in a statement.
“We are in constant dialogue to find a positive solution for an alternative playing venue for the 2020-21 season which will be returning in the Autumn.”