Sheffield Eagles have issued a statement in which they warn that the club could be facing the prospect of extinction.
The Eagles have warned that the loss of a significant investor and the fact they have played games ‘on the road’ has resulted in them being close to being unable to fulfil their financial obligations: and the club have sought insolvency advice.
The statement reads: “In all honesty, this is an upsetting and difficult piece to write and release to the RFL world. Sadly, our club is in a rather dire financial predicament at this time – so much so that we are open to all options including facing the very real prospect that Sheffield Eagles RLFC could indeed cease to exist entirely.
“The club performed exceptionally well last season and was in contention for promotion to Super League, which had we achieved it, no doubt would have attracted new investment to take the club to a consistently higher level.
“The club was totally committed to achieving the goal of playing Super League football once again this year, but due to a complex set of reasons including the strong competition in the league we have seen our best efforts fall short.
“Many of you will know that our club went ‘full-time’ this year – whilst this provides players with a great opportunity of development through the benefits of being able to fully commit to the cause and receiving full-time coaching, with it comes significant financial responsibilities for the club.
“As a result of many factors – not least being the loss of a significant investor and the fact that we have been playing ‘on the road’ throughout the season – the club will very shortly be unable to fulfil its financial obligations and as a result of this we have sought professional insolvency advice from a local firm; BCIA – Recovery & Turnaround Ltd.
“As it stands today, the club is working incredibly hard to ensure that it can honour all of its financial commitments in order to see the current season through and also to attract investment and funding from the business or sporting community! Despite the current situation we are facing, the club have far from thrown the towel in. We have been in advanced discussions with several prospective investors who are committed to the future of Rugby League in South Yorkshire.
“Whilst there are external factors which we are working hard to address, the opportunity to build on the great work of the current team is palpable.
“Whilst the club has suffered from the fact that it lost its long-time home, we are in advanced discussions with Sheffield City Council and Legacy Park Ltd about building a state of the art facility to offer not only a home for our Rugby club, but also a sporting facility in the community, office space, a gymnasium, fabulous training facilities and a permanent venue for junior development in both codes of rugby and other related activities.”
The club then appealed to anyone – no matter who they are – to step in and support the Eagles.
The statement closed: “We are actively seeking discussions with anyone interested in leading or being a significant part of saving this wonderful club.
“At this time, the club continues to fight with the commitment and leadership of the Board of Directors and the support of its coaches, playing and support staff and of course its incredible fans, without which the club would not even exist.
“It could be a supporter group, a wealthy entrepreneur, a business or a fellow sporting club who writes the next chapter with us here at the Eagles – one thing is for sure, we will do everything in our power to make sure that this wonderful club lives to fight another season and secures its long-term future.”