Sheffield Eagles: we can't keep calling on chairman Swire

Sheffield Eagles chief executive John Whaling has ruled out the possibility of current chairman Ian Swire again coming to the club's aid as talks over a takeover continue.

Friday, 26th August 2016, 5:09 pm
Happier says: Sheffield Eagles Chairman Ian Swire (left) and Head Coach Mark Aston embrace at a Championship Finals victory

Eagles are in dire need of a resolution to several months of talks in order to safeguard their future, following Swire’s decision to move aside at the end of this campaign. Swire was one of several people who played a major role in reforming the club 17 years ago and has for many years bankrolled Eagles to maintain rugby league in the city.

Whilst Whaling continues to broker a deal for a successful takeover, he has quashed any notion of Swire again saving the day, saying he has already gone beyond the call of duty. “Ian has done far more than what I have asked him to do already” Whaling confirmed. “Like most of us he has dedicated the last 17 years of his life to this, and he now feels it’s time to move on. We respect that and recognise that he has done so much that we can’t keep expecting more.”

Eagles’ current plight can be traced to a number of factors, one of which was the withdrawal of funds from an unnamed investor, who was a major player on the decision to go full-time and provide the funding for the planned new Olympic Legacy Park stadium.

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Following his decision to leave the club, Swire again had to dig deep to keep the Eagles alive but Whaling says the club needs to find a way to exist without the generosity of its long time chairman.

“I think we need to respect his wishes,” Whaling added. “He has already made a one-off payment to the club, and he rightly wants to spend more time with his family. He has done all he can for Sheffield Eagles and we will always be grateful to him.”

Whilst Whaling continues to complete a takeover on two fronts, he now has the possibility of a late bidder who made an initial enquiry last weekend. A decision on how they want to proceed is expected imminently.

Eagles travel to Bower Fold to face Oldham on Bank Holiday Monday.