Silver means more than silverware for Sheffield Eagles against Bradford Bulls

Mark Aston
Mark Aston
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There isn’t just the Championship Shield at stake for Sheffield Eagles when they take on Bradford Bulls this Sunday at Odsal Stadium.

The Eagles return to West Yorkshire just a fortnight after their 80-0 defeat, for what could potentially be the last game for the stricken club.

And a victory at Odsal could help to be their saving grace.

The club are desperately trying to find the funds to bridge the financial gap between the end of the season and the completion date for their prospective takeover.

So could the prize money for winning the Championship Shield provide a vital windfall to buy the club some valuable time to save themselves?

Eagles director of rugby Mark Aston said that every little helps as the club continue to battle behind the scenes to complete a much-needed takeover deal.

“It isn’t a windfall anymore, It was £50,000 last year to win this final, but now it is around £10,000,” Aston told The Star.

“But it is all important to us. Every penny means something to us because we have to make sure that the players and staff get paid. They all have mortgages and families, and that is the big thing.”

The money, coupled with phenomenal fund-raising by fans, could provide a chunk towards the funds needed to get the Eagles through to November.

Aston confirmed talks still continuing between Sheffield Council and the investor who is leading the race to take over the club.

“The council are now showing signs that they want to support it, and there is plenty of interest in the club,” Aston reiterated.

“These next few weeks are very important to us. We need to get the stability back and then we can move forward and start adding to the squad here.

“The key is to keep paying people and keeping going month by month. There is not only us in a mess. Other clubs will be too because clubs like us have lost a lot of money for not finishing in the top four.

“The fans are up to around £16,000, which is a massive effort. We are not big in number, but the pride and passion is there for everyone to see. They have done the talking with the money raised.”