Sheffield Eagles: Takeover talks ‘ongoing’

Eagles chief executive John Whaling
Eagles chief executive John Whaling
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Sheffield Eagles chief executive John Whaling says that talks regarding a takeover of the club remain ongoing with all three potential buyers.

Following the announcement that long time chairman Ian Swire will leave the club at the end of the season, Whaling has been in discussions with interested parties as he looks to safeguard the club’s future.

Whaling revealed at the start of this month that three parties were in talks regarding a takeover, with one coming to the table from Australia with experience of working in the NRL.

He confirmed that all three parties were still in discussions, with one group in particular now at an advanced stage of negotiations.

“Talks are still ongoing but they are more advanced with one of the groups that we have been in discussions with,” Whaling told The Star.

“The three groups we have been talking with are all still interested. I have spoken to all three this week, but as I have said one is certainly more advanced than the other two.

“On the stadium front we are moving forward. We have designs for potential stands now, so things are progressing nicely.”

Whaling confirmed earlier in the month that he is seeking a conclusion to any potential takeover by the end of this month.

All three interested groups have given an indication that they want the Eagles to remain full-time, which will be a huge fillip for director of rugby Mark Aston who has been a long time supporter of working with his squad on a daily basis.

Whaling confirmed that further meetings are planned for the back end of this week, with further news expected over the course of next week.

“I am hopeful that by next week we may have some further news,” he added. “I have meeting with the council where we are seeking an idea of what we will be charged for regarding the lease of the new stadium, if we can get that information then we can progress with potential buyers.”

Meanwhile, on the field the Eagles will be looking to end the regular season on a high against Whitehaven tomorrow.

Aston’s side travel to Cumbria knowing a victory, coupled with other results going in their favour, could see them finish in the top half of the bottom eight, crucially giving them four home games when the Kingstone Press Championship season splits off for the final seven games of the campaign.