London Irish ponder investment plans

London Irish are languishing at the bottom of the Aviva Premiership table
London Irish are languishing at the bottom of the Aviva Premiership table

London Irish have confirmed that they are on the lookout for fresh investment options to help the club improve and compete in the top tier of the English Premiership.

The Exiles, who made a promotion to the Aviva Premiership in the ongoing season are in the danger of relegation once again as they languish at the bottom of the table having registered a solitary victory in 13 games. They are separated from 11th placed Worcester Warriors by nine points as things look gloomy once again for the Madejski Stadium based outfit.

Amid reports of a takeover, Mick Crossan, majority shareholder and president of London Irish pointed out financial concerns but assured that he will not leave the club and has committed to a long-term future on the board.

"This year London Irish is 120 years old and I want to make sure that the club is secure for the next 120 years," he said in a statement released by the club.

"I am very much on board with the club for the long-term but we have been speaking to a number of investors about joining the current shareholders to help the club develop to the next level to become a real contender in the Aviva Premiership.

"The process is in the early stages but as you would expect with a club that has such a rich history, passionate supporter base and strong credentials, we have received a number of investment enquiries, however, London Irish will only entertain working with investors that offer long-term security and share the same passion for the club that the existing shareholders have.

"I am aware of the approach discussed in a recent article in The Telegraph and can confirm that we have not accepted any offers of investment to date.

"These are exciting times for London Irish as we consider our options for moving back to London so it is no surprise that we have received a lot of positive interest in investing in the club but we need to make sure that any investor who joins us has the best interests of the club at heart."

Meanwhile, London Irish chief executive Brian Face said the primary focus is to avoid relegation in the ongoing season and insists the club has a promising future.

“Our prime focus is currently on the Aviva Premiership and we are backing Nick and his team to secure the club’s survival in the league over the coming months.

“We have shown that we can compete against the country’s best teams with close results against some of the top Aviva Premiership teams over the last two months.

“The spirit across the squad and the whole club is very committed and with the backing of our fantastic supporters, we know that this can translate into wins.

“The future of the club is also very strong with five London Irish senior academy players being selected for the England under 20 squad.”