Council decision could speed up take-over of Sheffield Eagles

Sheffield Eagles' players
Sheffield Eagles' players
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Chief Executive John Whaling insists that talks over a potential takeover of Sheffield Eagles cannot be allowed to drag on.

Eagles are now down to two interested parties after an Australian consortium pulled out of the race to buy the club.

Whaling has targeted completing negotiations by the end of August, with a final deadline of six weeks to get the prospective takeover over the line, otherwise the Eagles could face an uncertain future.

“I would love to have something confirmed by the end of this month,” Whaling said. “There is a good chance it could be, and that would put us in a nice position for the remaining month of this season. If this dragged on then it would become an issue. It has to be resolved before the end of the season, so that means something needs to develop within the next six weeks. I am 75% confident that it will happen.”

One of the major stumbling blocks for the prospective new owners has been a hold-up on figures for the lease of the Eagles new home at the Olympic Legacy Park, with the club still on course to he housed there for next season.

Whaling has now confirmed that the council have now provided the answers they have been looking for, and he is hopeful that a takeover can now be accelerated.

“The council have given us some answers now so it is good news,” he confirmed.

“We now know what the worse-case scenario is for the lease. They have given us two options of leasing the stadium year-by-year or an up front cost. As we sit today paying the cost up front is the most advantageous to us.

“The potential investors are happy with that, and they are happy now that they have these numbers because it gives them something to work on. That has really been holding things up. The group that is out in front at the moment is still waiting for some more answers but that is to do with his other business commitments.”

Meanwhile, on the pitch the Eagles continue to make progress after victory over Whitehaven secured their third straight victory. They are back on home soil again this Sunday when they take on Swinton Lions at Bawtry Road, (3pm.)