Andy Mazey holds talks over potential takeover of Rochdale

A consortium headed by Andy Mazey has approached Rochdale Hornets over a potential takeover of the club.

The club confirmed the consortium has held extensive talks with the club’s existing board and chief executive Steve Kerr, with a formal proposal now set to take place.

If it goes through, the Hornets would become a privately-owned club, with the League 1 side currently supporter-owned.

The consortium also consists of three other former Swinton directors, who all resigned after strong opposition to their plan to re-brand the club as Manchester Lions.

However, they have made it clear they do not wish to move the Hornets to Manchester.

A statement from the club’s current directors said: “Conversations with the consortium have been taking place for a couple of weeks, and includes plans to invest in the first two years, and restructure the club to take it forward beyond what will be an uncertain time for the whole sport at the end of the current TV deal in 2021. Overall, they have presented a five-year plan for development that will make the club sustainable over the long-term.

“At present the club is losing money and struggling to raise sufficient revenue to meet its obligations. The club needs investment, resource and a strategic vision to build value in the product, the team and the sport in the town.

“The co-operative model has served us well, but it’s unsustainable. Given the size of our membership, we have reached the extreme of our limitations, and we are currently over-reliant on RFL distribution and the generosity of benefactor loans to make us viable.

“The consortium are committed to providing coach Matt Calland with a budget to make us competitive in League One, with the longer-term intention of becoming a viable, sustainable Championship club. To do that, the consortium’s investment will run across all areas of the club – including non-playing activities and infrastructure. All investment from the consortium will be used for strengthening the club – not servicing its debts.

“The board has a responsibility to do what it feels best secures the club’s long-term viability and delivers future success. It feels that the proposal received from the consortium is exciting and has lots of potential to grow Rochdale Hornets into a club that all members and fans can be proud of – in a way that can’t be achieved under the current ownership model.”

Kerr added: “The vision set out by Andy Mazey is a sustainable one, which will require everyone’s buy-in. There will be no magic wand, only a promise to do things right, grow our community profile and develop all areas of the business.”