Sarries agree Vicarage Road deal
May 11, 2011
Saracens will play at least 10 games at Vicarage Road next season © Getty Images
Saracens will play at least 10 home games at Vicarage Road next season after agreeing a short-term deal with Watford Football Club.
The Aviva Premiership title hopefuls are awaiting planning permission for their proposed £14million redevelopment of Copthall Stadium in Barnet.
It is hoped the new 10,000 capacity ground, which will have an artificial pitch, will be ready in January, but in the meantime they have opted to continue staging home games at Vicarage Road, where they have spent the past 14 years.
The delay could leave Saracens waiting until the 2012-13 campaign to make the transition, but chief executive Edward Griffiths is prepared to show patience.
"We hope to move at some point next season, but if it happens in 2012-13 then so be it," he said. "We are confident that planning will go through, it will just take a bit of time. It's a 99-year lease for Copthall so adding another six months isn't the end of the world."
The deal at Vicarage Road, struck on enhanced terms for Watford FC, covers at least 10 matches with an option for further games should Copthall Stadium not be completed in time.
"The club is happy to welcome Saracens back to our stadium next season," Hornets owner Laurence Bassini said. "They approached us to see if we could take into account their current situation with regard to their ongoing Copthall Stadium negotiations. Given the long-standing relationship between Watford and Saracens, it is only right that we considered their request."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
It's time for those running Welsh rugby to stop trying to prevent its players heading to France and to start planning a future without them, writes Martin Williamson
Paul Eddison explains how the French sold English clubs down the river and why their domestic game will go from strength to strength
'Nothing can prepare you for the noise of the Millennium Stadium though, you just can't hear anything." Tom Hamilton talks to Cory Allen
Following a weekend where Wales suffered more heartbreak against Australia and the Aviva Premiership showed its class, the Monday Maul looks back at some of the key talking points