WRL seeks new owners for Scorpions

The Wales Rugby League (WRL) is looking to find a buyer for the South Wales Scorpions, after two seasons of running the League 1 club themselves.

The governing body took control of the organisation after original owner and founder Phil Davies decided to relinquish control in late 2013.

A new owner is now being sought to develop the club and move it further along its path up the game’s pyramid.

“This represents a wonderful opportunity for someone to lead the only professional rugby league club in South Wales into an exciting new era,” WRL chief operating officer Chris Thair said.

“Richard Branson had a dream of leading out a side at a packed Wembley stadium and he decided to take over a rugby league club in 1996 to fulfil this dream and in 1999 it came true.

“Russell Crowe became an owner of South Sydney Rabbitohs in 2006 to get them back to the top of the sport. The Rabbitohs won the Australian NRL Grand Final in 2014 and then the World Club Championship with Crowe missing the Oscars to take in the latter.

“For an investor of this type, this wonderful sport offers the opportunity to be able to fulfil some dreams, gain huge exposure and leave a truly lasting legacy on the sport and the local community, certainly in a far more cost effective way compared to other sports.

“It is thought an investment of three million pounds over three years would get the club into Super League and it would be important some of this is into off field activities to ensure the club has the ongoing commercial revenues to make it viable in the long term on a self-sustaining basis.

“The landscape of elite sport in South Wales certainly has room for another full-time sports club and Scorpions could be that vehicle.

Any new investor who wished to run a fulltime squad and get into Super League would be a big ongoing news item in the national and global media.

“The Scorpions currently just sit two promotions away from Super League and ambitious projects such as these would galvanise the Welsh nation and the wider sporting community.

“At the other end of the spectrum, the way the current club is set up, a new owner could take on this challenge and make very low levels of investment or even none at all, outside of their own time.

“Since taking over the ownership in January 2014 we have positioned the club so it runs at a breakeven position on an annual turnover of £115,000, it has had all debts cleared, has a stable staffing structure put into place and a very good hosting partner in Mountain Ash RFC.

“For someone who wishes to build upon this model, there is now a very stable platform from which to do so. The challenges remain great however as the club currently resides at the foot of the table.”

The WRL has also explained that it will continue to run the club should no buyer be found.

A statement reads:

“Should no suitable individual or consortium be found then Wales Rugby League will continue to run the club over the next few seasons.

“WRL are open to an immediate takeover or one which starts in one or two years and allows the new-co sufficient lead up time to make the maximum impact.

“It should be noted the Rugby Football League, who govern the competition that the Scorpions play in, must approve any change in ownership and/or club name.”

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