London Wasps have announced the club is now in the hands of new owners after ‘a successful takeover process’ and admitted their long-term future lies away from Adams Park.
Having exchanged contracts recently, a consortium has now taken full ownership of the club, having purchased the shares of previous owner Steve Hayes in a deal developed by advisors Baker Tilly.
Under the new ownership structure, the majority of office staff will be based at Twyford Avenue, the Club’s training ground, as a full separation from Wycombe Wanderers, which had also been owned by Hayes, has already taken place.
The club, for whom ex-Aylesbury Grammar School pupils Sam Jones and Jack Wallace play, will continue at Adams Park for the foreseeable future, with the new owners placing a long-term priority on developing a new Stadium.
A new board of directors will be appointed in due course with extensive experience in business and sport.
Mark Rigby, a former club captain, will continue his role as chairman while a new CEO is in place with David Thorne having recently taken on this role.
Ken Moss, another former Wasp, has played an important role in the development of the consortium in recent months and his future role is currently being finalised.
In a statement, club chairman Rigby said: “We are delighted to confirm the completion of the sale process following the agreement of terms in recent months. It has undoubtedly been a lengthy process and there have been some complex financial issues involved, but we are pleased that the situation finally has been resolved.
“The vision of everyone involved in the consortium who will take the club forward, is to ensure that London Wasps becomes a sustainable business long-term. In the short term we have some major work to get the company back on a sound financial footing and our priority is to stabilise the business after a rocky and difficult 12 months for everyone involved.”
Rigby confirmed that in the coming months, the structure of Wasps going forward would be fully outlined to all supporters and stakeholders.
“It is our hope to confirm our new board of directors plus additional staff resource as soon as possible. All stakeholders, including supporters, will be fully kept up to date with our progress and changes. We are also in the process of finalising a number of new sponsorship deals which, now we have confirmed ownership, will be progressed strongly.”
Rigby saved the last word for former owner Steve Hayes.
“I would like to thank Steve for his financial support over the last few years which shouldn’t be underestimated. Under his ownership, the Club sought to be innovative off the pitch with the development of the St George’s Day brand and in taking the first English domestic competitive game overseas,” he added.