THE chairman of a new board set up to promote Milton Keynes as an attractive place to invest in sport says there was nothing he could do to help MK Lions in their bid to find a home.
The news that Lions will be forced to leave the city after 15 years because they cannot find a permanent venue comes in the same week that the ‘Milton Keynes Sport Board’ has been launched, with MK Council ‘accepting a high level strategy document setting out the role for a new body to provide independent leadership for sport in the city’.
Chaired by Dr Philip Smith, the group will ‘coordinate the delivery of the MK sports strategy and promote MK as an attractive place to invest in sport, and further builds on the initial work to establish Milton Keynes as an International Sporting City’.
It will ‘raise the profile of sport locally, nationally and internationally, stimulate local sports co-ordination and participation and tackle issues of significance to Milton Keynes’.
Other board members are Keith Straughan, John Cove, Adrian Christy, Clive Faine, Gail Emms and Milton Keynes South MP Ian Stewart.
However, by the time that board meets for the first time in September, Lions will be long gone, with Macaulay set to complete paperwork for the British Basketball League club’s move on Tuesday morning.
Smith told the Citizen: “I’m very disappointed to hear the news. I know Vince very well and know he has been doing everything in his power to try and find a place to play.
“If he hasn’t been able to find a venue then one has to accept that he will have no choice but to leave the city, which is extremely disappointing.
“In my position at the moment it’s difficult to see how I could have helped.”
Although Macaulay admits to being excited by the potential of Lions’ new home, he is devastated at having to leave so much history behind in Milton Keynes. He Tweeted on Monday: “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”