English Premiership
Wasps announce new ownership
December 3, 2008

London Wasps have announced current board member and Director Steve Hayes as the new owner of the club.

Hayes has secured ownership of the club after purchasing the shares of current Board Directors Chris Wright and John O'Connell. Hayes, also Managing Director of Wycombe Wanderers football club, has also announced a new-look board containing former Wasps and England legend Lawrence Dallaglio and former Wasps skipper Mark Rigby. Wright will become life-president of the club after ten-years in charge.

Hayes said, "London Wasps is undeniably one of the most successful clubs in Europe on the pitch and, as we look to the future, I have a very clear vision which will incorporate and align all facets of the club to this level of success. We are determined to stay at the forefront of European Rugby, and whether coaches, players, board members or staff we all have a major role in supporting this vision."

Wasps Director of Rugby Ian McGeechan praised the input of Hayes during his time as Director, and hoped for continued support now that he has taken a further step within the club. "Steve has always been very proactive in his thinking about what's required to take Wasps forward," he said. "As a Director he is a man who has been very supportive of the rugby side of the club and what we are trying to achieve and I am sure he will continue his positive influence as owner.

"We are very appreciative of the time and money that has been invested up until this point - allowing us to be a successful club. It is clear that things are continuing to develop on the business side and in order to compete in the long term we must look to moving forward yet again and I am sure in Steve Hayes we have the right man to lead us into the future.

"The appointment of Lawrence and Mark to the Board shows there is a strong understanding of the rugby business as part of the new structure. Both men bring an understanding and passion for Wasps with them to their new roles, who have both always shown themselves to be strong and effective forward thinkers. I am looking forward to being a part of what should be an exciting future at the club."

Former skipper Dallaglio, who retired after leading the club to a Premiership title in May 2008, will work with the club principally on "player recruitment and talent identification", and will also take on the role of Patron of the London Wasps Academy Apprenticeship - Wasps' scheme aimed at 16-18 year olds

"I am delighted to step into this position working alongside Steve. I have known Steve for ten years and, as a dynamic businessman with strong values and beliefs, know that he is a man who leads from the front," he said. "I hope I can provide a valuable service and perform a positive role for the club I played with for nearly two decades, helping to build on the success we have already enjoyed."

Harlequins have also announced a new high-profile addition as former All Blacks captain Sean Fitzpatrick has been appointed as a non-executive member of their Board of Directors.

Fitzpatrick was one of the world's finest hookers and an inspirational leader for the All Blacks, winning the World Cup in 1987 and amassing 92 caps. He captained the side between 1992 and his retirement in 1997.

Harlequins Chief Executive Mark Evans said, "We are delighted that someone of Sean's experience and expertise has decided to join us at such an exciting time in the club's development. I am sure he will add value in a number of key areas."

© Scrum.com

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