Australian investors show interest in Sheffield Eagles and new stadium

Vision of Eagles' future
Vision of Eagles' future
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Sheffield Eagles are in advanced talks with three parties looking to take over the club, including new interest from an Australian syndicate.

Chief executive John Whaling confirmed that a group with previous involvement at a club in the NRL have joined the race, as the Eagles seek a replacement for outgoing chairman Ian Swire.

With talks with two other parties moving forward, the Australians have expressed a desire to take over a club in England, and could see the Eagles as an ideal opportunity with a new stadium on the horizon.

“We are in talks with three sets of people, two of which we have been speaking to for a while,” Whaling said.

“Following Ian’s announcement that he is going to leave, and the publicity around that, I was then contacted by some Australians. The head of that syndicate has been involved at a senior level at an NRL club, so he is a serious player.

“He knows his rugby league and has been looking to invest in a club in England for a while. He is interested by the fact that we don’t have any overdraft or loans to pay.”

Eagles have been seeking new investment long before Swire’s decision.

Whaling confirmed that he has been in discussions with two parties for a significant period which hands them the advantage should they wish to mount a takeover bid.

“Discussions continue with all of them, and we are quite confident that one will come to fruition,” he added. “The Australians came at a later stage so the others are at an advantage. They have done a lot more work around the stadium, which will be an intrinsic part of the deal. Whoever comes in need to develop that stadium into something that we can be proud of which will encourage fans to watch us.

“All the parties are fully supportive for our plans with the stadium, and as far as I am concerned everything is still on target for March,W017.”

Whaling also confirmed that all interested parties were keen to keep the Eagles as a full-time operation.

Meanwhile, George Tyson’s two match ban for a red card at Swinton has been confirmed by the RFL, but the Eagles have successfully appealed against the charge against Michael Knowles for an offence in the same game.