League 1 club taken over by UAE consortium led by familiar face

Ben Olawumi
Stadiwm CSM, UAE flag

League 1 outfit North Wales Crusaders have announced a takeover by a consortium based in Dubai

League 1 outfit North Wales Crusaders have confirmed they will be taken over by United Arab Emirates company ‘Elkaleh LLC’, headed up by a familiar face, subject to RFL approval.

The Dubai-based cryptocurrency business are owned by former Hull KR Performance Coach Jamie El-Kaleh, who also held roles with Salford Red Devils & Widnes Vikings, one of Tim Sheens’ right-hand men.

El-Kaleh – who has Egyptian heritage – is far from short of rugby league experience on his CV having also spent time with hometown club Warrington Wolves and indeed the RFL themselves.

Also an ex-Manchester City employee too, El-Kaleh was handed the role of ‘Talent Inclusion Officer’ by the RFL back in 2021, and is now poised to make a return to the game as the Crusaders’ new owner.

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League 1 club North Wales Crusaders taken over by UAE consortium led by familiar face Jamie El-Kaleh

In the Welsh outfit’s press release confirming the takeover – which is expected to be ratified by the RFL over the next few weeks – the businessman said: “We are incredibly proud to have agreed a deal to gain majority ownership of this wonderful club.

“The beauty of North Wales Crusaders lies in its rich history, compelling story and the passionate fans who form its heart.

“My ambition is to elevate North Wales Crusaders and achieve that by strengthening our connection with North Wales as well as significant rebuilding efforts.

“Incoming investment and sponsorship will fuel our push for success, and, upon approval from the RFL, we shall hold a fans forum before setting out to strengthen our partnerships with local communities, and establish relationships with the wider rugby communities.

“It would be my honour to return North Wales Crusaders to the forefront of the game and region, and I look forward to sharing my long-term ambitions with you in the near future.

“Together, we can make this happen.”

Having liquidated and officially re-formed under the North Wales tagline in 2011, Crusaders – headed up by player-coach Carl Forster – now sit 7th in a nine-team League 1.

Since re-forming, they have never played higher than the Championship, spending a sole season in the second tier back in 2014.

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