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London Wasps begin search for new owner

London Wasps owner Steve Hayes is to begin a search for a new owner for the club.

Hayes, owner of the two-time European Cup Champions, believes that new drive from a new owner may be the best way to build on the groundwork and opportunities he has laid down for Wasps for an exciting and wider future
Hayes took ownership of the club in 2008 and in the past three seasons has piloted a number of innovative ideas in the sport introducing an annual St George’s Day Game at Twickenham which has attracted almost 100,000 supporters over two seasons, and taking the first ever competitive domestic fixture overseas, showcasing the game to a global audience in Abu Dhabi.

Plans for a new Sporting Village in High Wycombe for both London Wasps and Wycombe Wanderers were also far advanced however Wycombe District Council subsequently withdrew its initial support this summer. This project had included a new 17,500 capacity stadium with community leisure facilities, retail space and a hotel and conference facilities.

Hayes believes that the Sporting Village plans, as they were developed, remain a sustainable option for London Wasps as a standalone club and any new owners will be encouraged to take these plans forward.

Hayes said: “I remain disappointed that Wycombe District Council withdrew its support for the Sporting Village project earlier this year and since that time I have been working with the London Wasps board to evaluate the best steps forward for the club. I fully believe that a new stadium for Wasps is essential in the coming years as we have always said that Adams Park was unsustainable as a long term option. I will work with any potential owners to develop the Sporting Village model we had already come up with at an alternative location.”

Hayes has appointed Baker Tilly to take the investment process forward.

Lawrence Dallaglio, who remains on the club’s board added: “Steve’s passion and vision over the past number of years has helped bring the club to new audiences around the world and any new owners will take on a club in a healthy position in terms of the direction it is heading on and off the pitch.”