Australians pull out of Sheffield Eagles takeover talks

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Sheffield Eagles’ takeover talks are now down to two interested parties after an Australian consortium dropped out of the race to buy the club.

Chief Executive John Whaling had been hopeful that a takeover could be completed by the end of July, but a number of obstacles have prevented the sale of the club. Whilst negotiations are progressing with two parties, the Australian group which contained members experienced in running NRL clubs, have pulled out. Whaling remains confident that a takeover could happen soon, with meetings this week.

“Discussions are progressing,” Whaling said. “We are still talking on two fronts, but one of those has been away on holiday which hasn’t really helped. He is back in the country now and I have a meeting with him on Friday. The discussions with the other party are ongoing.”

Eagles have been looking for new ownership following the news that current Chairman Ian Swire is to leave the club after 17 years at the helm.

Whilst Whaling has been encouraged with the level of interest, the delay is proving frustrating with coach Mark Aston looking to start adding to his squad for next season.

Aston has a number of players he is looking to tie down for next season, including centre Nathan Chappell, currently on a deal until the end of the season, and a major player in the Eagles recent revival.

While discussions continue, Whaling has admitted that he is still receiving fresh interest, but revealed that any new parties that come to the table would have to move quickly if they are going to jump to the front of the queue.

“I have had some fresh interest saying they would like to talk to us,” he confirmed.

“Whether anything will come of that I don’t know at this stage, it is a little late in the day but we are still out there looking. If someone is out there and interested then we will talk to them.

“The Australian group came in late, and anyone who showed an interest now would have to move quite quickly. We would never say no to someone who wants to talk to us.”