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New investors needed as Nottingham Rugby secures second in league

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.

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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 Bow.

"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," said Beatham.

"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.

 

2013-04-18T07:30:00

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