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.
The rolling maul is becoming an increasingly potent attacking weapon. Conor O'Shea looks at the difficulties of stopping it
The news of James Horwill, Adam Ashley-Cooper and Dan Carter's respective transfers will open the floodgates, writes Tom Hamilton
Kiwi coaches can be found far and wide across the globe, and Murray Mexted believes the All Blacks benefit every bit as much as their rivals
Clermont, Toulon, player burnout, Sam Burgess and a farewell to Adams Park - Monday Maul looks back at the weekend's action