A MASSIVE rent demand has thrown the future of a host of sports and community clubs in Fartown into doubt.

Huddersfield Rugby League Supporters' Club has paid a peppercorn rent of £2 a year for its Spaines Road base.

But Kirklees Council is now asking for a whopping £10,500 a year for using the 1960s building.

The club has nearly 500 members and is also home to Huddersfield Junior Sharks Rugby League Club, St Joseph's Amateur RLFC and a women's team.

The Senior Giants and the Pennine Amateur Rugby and West Riding leagues hold their committee meetings in the clubhouse, as do a pigeon club and a bull terrier club.

All can use the club premises for free, but many give donations.

Club members are now waiting for a date to fight the proposed rent rise in court.

Junior Sharks secretary Lisa Cook said: "Everyone is stunned that Kirklees have taken this step.

"They keep stressing the importance of sport for young people, and we are doing our utmost to achieve that aim.

"So why are Kirklees making it almost impossible for us to continue?"

Trustee Roy Shaw said: "This is part of the heritage of rugby league."

He added: "Our main aim is to get that rent demand quashed and get the peppercorn rent again."

Paul Quirke, chairman of the Junior Sharks, said sport should be supported at the grass roots.

"There are still junior teams playing here in the claret and gold in the same spirit as the teams always have.

"About seven or eight of our lads are playing for the Giants Academy," he added.

A Kirklees spokeswoman said the final lease was open to negotiation.

"The club has had a long lease - since 1974 - for a nominal rent of £2. It is now council policy that lease renewals have to be agreed at a market rent level. A figure of £10,500 has been proposed, based on similar premises rented to other similar organisations," she added.