Sheffield Eagles look for new investment as chairman is to quit

Eagles Chairman Ian Swire with head coack Mark Aston
Eagles Chairman Ian Swire with head coack Mark Aston
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Potential investors are showing interest in Sheffield Eagles as the club look to fill the void that will be left by current chairman Ian Swire.

In an honest assessment of the Eagles situation, both on and off the field, in his programme notes for last Friday’s defeat against Batley, Swire confirmed that he will be departing at the end of the current campaign.

Swire went into detail regarding the club’s struggle to make up the difference after the departure of an unnamed investor, whose financial input was a major factor in the move to a new stadium, and an enhanced playing budget for the current season.

With Swire left to pick up the pieces this season, he is now stepping aside after 17 years with chief executive John Whaling confirming to The Star that he is now forging ahead with discussions for fresh investment.

“I am in discussions and I have been for a while now,” said Whaling. “This isn’t something that has just been thrown upon me. Ian said a couple of years ago that he was only going to go for another two seasons, so we as a Board have known his intentions for sometime now.

“It is worrying that the chairman is leaving and we haven’t got one in place yet, but there is a fair way to go and we remain hopeful.”

The news will no doubt cause alarm bells among the Eagles faithful, who were encouraged by the decision to go full-time only last November, and talk of once again reaching Super League.

With their fifth consecutive defeat rubber stamped by Batley on Friday, the Eagles now face a fight to retain their Kingstone Press Championship status.

Whaling though remains positive and admits that a number of potential investors have made contact, whilst also guaranteeing that whatever the scenario there will be a Sheffield Eagles for next season.

“People are approaching me, which is a nice position to be,” Whaling added.

“I am hopeful that one of these parties will come forward. We are looking for more than a chairman, but someone who will invest in the club and help us realise the dream of getting into the new stadium. The club will keep going in whatever format, and I am sure there are people out there who want to help us.”