Aviva Premiership
Irish consortium breath new life into London Irish
ESPN Staff
December 12, 2013
All change ... the consortium of London-based Irish businessmen announce the takeover of London Irish © Twitter

London Irish have confirmed they are now owned by a consortium of London-based Irish businessmen who have acquired a majority stake in the club.

The consortium is led by Mick Crossan, executive chairman of Powerday plc, the recycling and environmental waste management group, which is the principal sponsor of both the London Irish professional and amateur teams. Crossan will become president of the club. The new consortium said the sale of the ground at Sunbury had led to the existing majority shareholders reviewing their position and led to the consortium buying that shareholding.

"The members of the consortium are delighted to assume responsibility for London Irish at this important time in the club's history," Crossan said. "The club is known and respected throughout the world and is a sleeping giant in terms of its unrealised potential. We're looking forward to working with all the club's stakeholders to take it to the next level."

The new owners have committed substantial new funds to the club that will be used to invest in the new Centre of Excellence at Hazelwood, to strengthen the professional playing squad, to re-invigorate the club's Academy by developing new players from Berkshire, Hampshire and the London Irish amateur club and to invest in experienced management and support staff.

The news will bolster London Irish's coffers and will help them in their efforts to tie down star winger Marland Yarde whose contract is up at the end of the season. Wallabies star James O'Connor joined the team earlier this season and coach Brian Smith has already spoken of his wish to keep the versatile back at the club for longer.

The club have already added Ireland prop Tom Court to their ranks and the newspaper claims Munster's Donnacha Ryan is also on their radar.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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