AS Nottingham Rugby secured second place in the RFU
Championship at the weekend, the board has announced that
additional investment is now needed as the current owners can no
longer underwrite the club's funding gap.
Despite having one more league game to play, the bonus point win
over Cornish Pirates means Nottingham will finish the regular
league season in second place - the best the club has ever achieved
in the Championship.
It means the team will avoid Newcastle in the play-off semi
finals, instead facing one of Bedford, Bristol, or Leeds in a
two-legged match, with the home tie on the evening of Friday, May
10 at Meadow Lane (subject to RFU Championship approval).
At a time when the team is riding high and challenging for
promotion to the Premiership, the Nottingham Rugby Board has been
putting plans in place to bring the additional investment into the
club to maintain the current commercial model.
The existing owners and investors - Luke Jones and Jason Brewer,
can no longer continue to bridge the funding gap required to
sustain a team at the top of the RFU Championship. Whilst
conversations are ongoing with some potential investors, the board
are looking for £250,000 of new investment to complete this season
and build for next year.
"We've had an excellent season, better than we expected when we
set out our objectives this time last year. But achieving this
success comes at a high cost and due to a change in their
circumstances our owners can no longer meet the current financial
demands of the club," said Nottingham Rugby Chairman, Alistair
"Luke and Jason would both like to stay involved, but in order
for us to carry on playing at the top of the RFU Championship
challenging for promotion, we need to bring additional funding in.
We have already identified one or two new investors, but we still
need more funds to bridge the gap this season," added Bow.
Whilst Head Coach Martin Haag, who recently signed a two-year
contract extension at the club, has been creating a team pushing
for the Premiership on the field, Chief Executive, Simon Beatham
has been leading the growth of the business side of the club.
"Match-day income is up 56% and attendances are up 38% on last
year and we are confident of achieving our break even attendance
figure by the end of the 2014/2015 season. Both sponsorship and
hospitality incomes are also increasing and we are expecting a good
commercial return for the home semi-final on 10th May,"
"The club has moved on a long way in the last two years and we
have laid some excellent foundations for the future. We have
re-established the Nottingham Rugby brand in the local community
and our fan base is increasing. We have excellent playing and
training facilities at Meadow Lane and Lady Bay Sports Ground, and
some very strong community rugby partnerships with local businesses
and councils," he adds.
"We want to keep this momentum going, but we need new funders to
help us challenge for promotion this season and continue our
strategy to remain in the top four of the RFU Championship if we
don't make it."
Nottingham face Leeds away this coming Saturday 20 April, before
the club heads into the semi-finals of the play-offs. Their
opposition is yet to be confirmed, but the date requested for the
home leg is Friday, May 10 at Meadow Lane. Tickets will go on sale
through the website - www.nottinghamrugby.co.uk,
or via the club by calling 0115 907 0070. For further information
about investment opportunities at Nottingham Rugby please get in
contact with Alistair Bow or Simon Beatham.