HEADINGLEY Carnegie rugby ground’s famous South Stand will have to be closed down if redevelopment work does not begin this autumn.
That’s the warning from Leeds Rugby chief executive Gary Hetherington, amid suggestions the club should be splashing out on the Rhinos team, rather than facilities for spectators.
Some fans have claimed the South Stand development should be delayed until Leeds’ Super League side has been strengthened.
But Hetherington said safety experts only gave permission for the stand to remain open two years ago on the understanding rebuilding would begin in that time period.
“We have to do it and we have to do it now,” said the Leeds chief.
A timetable for the work will be drawn up following the Challenge Cup final.
Hetherington revealed the club will meet with councillors early next month, followed by a board meeting to discuss funding the project, which has faced opposition from local residents.
“It was a narrow vote in favour and there was a lot of significant opposition,” Hetherington said.
“We have been granted planning permission, but we have been asked to address quite a number of issues.
“Because of Wembley that has been put on the back burner, but we will be looking at that now.”