Sheffield Eagles bosses have paid tribute to supporters for “buying vital time” as the club’s quest for survival continues.
Close to £15,000 has been raised via an online fund in a bid to keep the ailing South Yorkshire club afloat.
According to Eagles general manager Liam Claffey, the cash will help keep the Eagles in business until at least the end of October.
Talks to secure the club’s long-term future are ongoing between an unnamed investor and Sheffield Council.
The Eagles’ potential new owner is demanding the construction of a biomass power station at the Eagles’ prospective new home, at the city’s all-new Olympic Legacy Park.
This would come in exchange for his investment, which would see the backer complete a takeover of the club and fund the construction of the proposed new stadium.
“We informed supporters that a figure of around £20,000 would be enough to see the club through until the end of October, buying us vital time,” said Claffey.
“So far, over £14,000 has been raised and we would like to thank every single person who has donated to help save the club.
“It is a figure to help keep the club operating, meaning talks concerning our future can continue. I am pleased to say talks between our investor and Sheffield Council appear to be progressing positively.
“We are hoping, within the next two to three weeks, to have an agreement in place, allowing us to move forward. If we get the answer we are looking for and the investor has his wish, to construct the power station on the Olympic Legacy Park, then, hopefully, a change of ownership will be completed in November and the future of the club will be no longer in doubt.”
However, Eagles head coach Mark Aston has told his informed his players to look for work elsewhere.
Claffey says any player who wishes to join another club will be free to leave Sheffield, regardless of their contractual agreement with the Eagles.
“As things stand, we have informed the players that they are free to speak with other clubs,” explained Claffey.
“If they get a deal elsewhere, we are happy to release them. Otherwise, everyone remains in position at the club until further notice. We are very optimistic and are trying to not consider the worst-case scenario, which would be administration, at this stage.
“Should everything go to plan and we get the new owner in place then we should be able to go into the market and begin building and recruiting players for next season.”