Leigh owner stands out against private equity abort payment

Leigh Centurions owner Derek Beaumont has spoken publicly for the first time about his club’s potential liability for paying a share of the abort fee to the merchant bank Rothschild’s for Super League failing to go ahead with the proposed private equity partners that the bank introduced via the Super League Executive Chairman Robert Elstone.

The abort fee totals £750,000, which Super League (Europe) Limited will have to pay.

And that means the twelve clubs that have SLE directors will each have to find a share of the money.

But the Leigh Chairman disputes whether his club, which only joined SLE in November, when it won the battle to replace Toronto Wolfpack, should be liable for the payment, because SLE decided to go ahead with the search for a private equity partner before Leigh became members.

But Beaumont has gone further than that.

“Everyone knows that St Helens opposed it from the outset, so I can’t see why they should be liable either. Surely it should be the clubs that supported the move for private equity that should be liable for this payment, once the deal wasn’t accepted unanimously, because they went ahead knowing that unanimity was highly unlikely.

“But I will also say this. If Leigh does have to pay part of this cost, I will regard it as probably the best expenditure I ever made, because I genuinely believe that, by not going down that route, we have actually saved the game.

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