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London Wasps confirm new principal shareholder

Irish businessman Derek Richardson has today become the principal shareholder of London Wasps and a new board of directors will be announced by the Club in the coming weeks.

Derek Richardson

Derek Richardson

Irish businessman Derek Richardson has today become the principal shareholder of London Wasps and a new board of directors will be announced by the Club in the coming weeks.

Richardson is a well-respected entrepreneur in the insurance market, having previously founded and sold Ireland’s first online insurance broker 123.ie. He is currently involved in a number of other insurance businesses in Europe and he is based in London. He will not have a day-to-day role at the Club but he has identified a number of key priorities for the business.

These include continuing to build the London Wasps’ supporter base, developing new training and administrative facilities, attracting significant sponsorship investment for the business, and, in the longer term, seeking to move to a new ground, which will be vital in establishing the long-term financial sustainability of the Club.

News about the Club’s positive future comes at a time when the squad, led by Dai Young, continues to make huge progress on the field. With a young and exciting squad founded on a core of talented young English players, hopes are high that Young and his players are ready to lead the Club into a competitive and winning future.

London Wasps CEO Nick Eastwood said: “It is fantastic news for everyone involved with London Wasps that today we can put a full stop to the uncertainty that has hung over the Club in recent years. While we have managed to make some progress this season financially, Derek’s involvement from here on in means that our business is now in very safe financial hands. He has an excellent track record in developing successful businesses and he sees a real opportunity to take this Club forward through sound investment and a smart commercial strategy. A key piece of the jigsaw in ensuring that London Wasps becomes a sustainable business will of course be owning or co-owning our own stadium, although that is much further down the line.”

Richardson said: “I am excited to have become involved with London Wasps, a Club I believe has a fantastic opportunity to move forward on and off the pitch. I see my involvement as a big responsibility and this is a long-term challenge which I want to meet head-on. The Club has been through some tough times but I am confident that, with the right management and commercial focus, new investment can really reinvigorate everything about London Wasps. Financial stability is our immediate focus and our aim is to become a self-sustainable business within a number of years. We are now looking at developing a longer term business strategy with the ultimate aim of ensuring we achieve that goal. On the pitch I am also very enthused about where we are headed. In Dai Young I believe we have a world-leading Director of Rugby and the progress being made by the squad is exciting for everyone involved.”

Following the announcement, Derek Richardson has answered a Q&A, which is on the website here.

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