Sheffield Eagles: Club faces race against time to survive

editorial image

Time is running out for Sheffield Eagles to be saved, with chief executive John Whaling explaining timescales are against other potential investors in the race to take over the club.

The Eagles have gone public with their dismay at what they describe as a lack of support from the council, with news that their front line investor has all but walked away from any potential deal. Now with the front runner taking a step back from a takeover, the question remains who else can save the stricken club.

There were four contenders in the race, but Whaling has confirmed that the second consortium, whose money is coming from the Far East, have stalled because of the expected fall out from Brexit.

“The other group who were quite a way on with us, his money was coming from the Far East,” Whaling explained. “But once the country voted for Brexit his Korean backer didn’t want to commit until he saw the repercussions. He was going to put £10 million into it, but of course nothing has happened post Brexit so that has stalled.”

Two other consortiums have been in touch following the club’s first SOS call three weeks ago. Whaling confirmed that he hasn’t given up on either avenue, but has admitted that with only three to four weeks available to conclude a deal, a takeover would be unlikely.

“They are are still possible, but they are a long way behind. I just worry whether they can turn things around quickly enough,” he confessed.

“We haven’t got enough money to look after contracts beyond October, the players have been informed of that by Mark (Aston). Their futures are in the balance, same with the coaching staff, the backroom staff, at this point in time it is a bleak future. I feel for them all, but there is only so much I can do.”

The stumbling block for their preferred takeover bid wasn’t connected to the club or their potential future home at the Olympic Legacy Park, but to an area of land where the investor wanted to expand his energy business.

There is no prospect of a deal without the green light on the land, and the Eagles are blaming the council for the hold up.

Meanwhile, the apparently disillusioned investor has now seemingly cooled his interest going away on holiday which would suggest the end of his bid.