London Irish Rugby President Mick Crossan responds to Telegraph's claim of £3.5millon club takeover
News

London Irish Rugby President Mick Crossan responds to Telegraph's claim of £3.5millon club takeover

LONDON IRISH chief Mick Crossan has responded to claims the rugby club has accepted a £3.5million buyout deal.

Mr Crossan, who is the majority shareholder and club president, reaffirmed his long-term commitment to the Exiles, but said they had been speaking to a number of investors.

The Irishman, who is also the founding owner of waste management company Powerday, made the statement after a report appeared in The Telegraph.

The article claims a consortium of five businessmen - three of whom are based in Ireland - has made the multi-million offer, which had been formally discussed in a solicitor's office in London last week.

It was also claimed the £3.6million takeover offer was made before Christmas and was awaiting a response from the London Irish board.

Advertisement

If accepted, a deal would be completed within a couple of weeks, it added.

In 2013 Mr Crossan led a consortium, which also included businessman Phil Cusack, to buy London Irish in a deal reported to be worth £2.5million.

Pictured in 2013 shortly after the new owners of  London Irish Rugyb were announced were the late David Fitzgerald, President Mick Crossan and Phil Cusack (Picture: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

In its latest statement London Irish said it would only entertain working with investors that offer long-term security.

“I am aware of the approach discussed in a recent article in The Telegraph and can confirm that we have not accepted any offers of investment to date," Mr Crossan said.

Last May the Exiles secured their return to the Premiership after being relegated from rugby's top flight.

Advertisement

The promotion came by way of a 55-48 victory over Yorkshire Carnegie in the second leg of the Greene King IPA Championship Play-off Final.

In what has been a challenging time for the club, Mr Crossan added: 'This year London Irish is 120 years old and I want to make sure that the club is secure for the next 120 years.

“I am very much on board with the club for the long-term but we have been speaking to a number of investors about joining the current shareholders to help the club develop to the next level to become a real contender in the Aviva Premiership.

“The process is in the early stages but as you would expect with a club that has such a rich history, passionate supporter base and strong credentials, we have received a number of investment enquiries, however, London Irish will only entertain working with investors that offer long-term security and share the same passion for the club that the existing shareholders have."

Brian Facer, London Irish chief executive said the club's main focus is on Aviva Premiership.

"We are backing Nick and his team to secure the club’s survival in the league over the coming months," he said.

“We have shown that we can compete against the country’s best teams with close results against some of the top Aviva Premiership teams over the last two months.

Tommy Bell of London Irish breaks clear of the Leeds defence during the Greene King IPA Championship Final on May 17, 2017 (Picture: Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

“The future of the club is also very strong with five London Irish senior academy players being selected for the England under 20 squad.”

London Irish reached the premiership final in 2009 the semi-finals of the 2008 Heniken Cup.

It has been reported that the club needs an investment of £10million in the next three years to support a return to the top of British and European rugby.

Currently based at the Madejski Stadium in Reading, the club has been linked to a move to the new Brentford Community Stadium.