Sheffield Eagles: Takeover needed ‘within six weeks’ as club faces threat of extinction

Eagles chief executive John Whaling
Eagles chief executive John Whaling
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Sheffield Eagles face an anxious wait on their future after confirming they have ‘sought professional insolvency advice’ as the club continues talks over a takeover.

The Eagles have confirmed that they remain in discussions with two interested parties, who remain keen on taking over the stricken club.

In a new development chief executive John Whaling confirmed that neither party was prepared to cover the cost of keeping the club full-time, leading to a situation where the Eagles need to ‘reduce commitments on contracts or find another investor.’

It is believed that if an investor cannot be found to keep the club full-time, the Eagles would look to honour contracts until the end of the current campaign, when renegotiation would have to take place.

That could see some of the Eagles’ prized assets leave the club for nothing, or take on a new deal part-time.

The club have previously stated that any party coming in at this late stage would need to move quickly, with Whaling stating that a takeover needs to made within six weeks to guarantee the club’s survival.

That would seem to leave the club with three scenarios going forward:

- Secure a deal with one of the two interested investors, but be forced back into a part-time operation;

- Hope that a new bidder comes to the table with enough financial backing to keep the club full-time, and that negotiations conclude within the six week time frame;

- Or alternatively the unthinkable situation of no deal being concluded which could see the club wound up.

In a club statement revealed yesterday, the Eagles confirmed: “Sadly, our club is in a rather dire financial predicament at this time – so much so that we are open to all options including facing the very real prospect that Sheffield Eagles RLFC could indeed cease to exist entirely.

It went on to say: “As it stands today, the club is working incredibly hard to ensure that it can honour all of its financial commitments in order to see the current season through and also to attract investment and funding from the business or sporting community!

“We are actively seeking discussions with anyone interested in leading or being a significant part of saving this wonderful club.”

The club take on Swinton Lions on Sunday as they look to make it three wins on the spin, kick off at Bawtry Road is 3pm.