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Bristol Rovers lose court case

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Bristol Rovers have lost a court case with Sainsbury's over the sale of the Memorial Ground.   Sainsbury's had agreed to pay £30m for the ground to build a supermarket, then pulled out of the deal.  However, the court ruled that the supermarket chain were within their rights.

Bristol Rovers had alleged that Sainsbury's decided long ago not to proceed with the scheme but kept 'stringing along' the club to prevent a competitor accessing the site and eating into its market share.

Sainsbury's rejected this criticism.   The company argued successfully in court that it had to withdraw because planning permission put restrictions on the number of lorries using local streets to make night-time deliveries to the store.

The sale would have funded the building of a new stadium to the north of the city near the University of West of England campus.   The club said that the ruling was 'a kick in the teeth.'   It considers that it will be unable to achieve long-term profitability without a new stadium.   An appeal is being considered.

Fans of the club have lashed out at Sainsbury's on social media for acting like a 'soulless chain' motivated only by 'big bucks'.