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Welsh rugby handed financial boost as Ospreys announce multi-mullion pound takeover

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Ospreys captain Alun Wyn Jones. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile

Ospreys captain Alun Wyn Jones. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

Ospreys captain Alun Wyn Jones. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile

The Ospreys have landed a major coup by announcing a multi-mullion pound takeover by an Asian sports marketing group.

Y11 Sports & Media company have become Ospreys' major shareholder in what is a huge boost to the cash-strapped Welsh club.

The Ospreys have been struggled financially in recent years, while their results on the pitch have also deteriorated.

Former Ireland U-20s coach Mike Ruddock recently returned to the club as a performance director as he looks to help change their fortunes.

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Chief executive James Davies-Yandle and his business partner and financier Donald Tang join as new directors, while current chairman Robert Davies will continues in his role.

"For some time now we've been planning a radical shift of gear and, from that, over 12 months of hard work and strategic planning has led to this new partnership with Y11," Davies said.

"It was essential we found a partner who shared our ambition and vision, but with the cultural understanding, expertise and resources to propel the region and community into a new era.

"We needed to secure the success of the past, whilst embracing fully the future and that is what we are now doing together. We're thrilled by the opportunities ahead.

"We are confident all our stakeholders and partners will be as excited about this development as we are.

"We have confided in the Welsh Rugby Union Executive and kept them fully aware of this development and now we look forward to planning for the Ospreys' future."

The Ospreys had been languishing at the bottom of Conference A of the PRO14 before Covid-19 brought the season to a halt.

However, Davies-Yandle was adamant that the club's ambitious plans would not be disrupted by the current pandemic.

“Rugby's potential has been overlooked for too long as other sports have been nimbler at seizing commercial opportunities to power success on the pitch with revenues off it," Davies-Yandle added.

"Initially, we will take our time together to methodically build operational strength, capacity and resilience, before rapidly accelerating programmes across the board.

"Crucially, we are not going to allow ourselves to be held back by the current operating environment and we are not going to be afraid to break the mould.

"Ultimately, our reach and our sights are set far beyond our existing borders and our business model and expertise are too.

"It's an exciting time for the Ospreys: its team, its supporters, the organisation as well as for the game of rugby."

Meanwhile, the Scarlets have confirmed that Wales centre Hadleigh Parkes will depart the club this summer.

The 32-year old Kiwi, who won 29 caps for his adopted country, is expected to join a Japanese club in a lucrative deal.

Online Editors