Ospreys have revealed a shock deal with Asian-based sports marketing group Y11 Sports & Media to acquire a 75.1 per cent stake in the Welsh region. Club chairman Rob Davies will remain in his role as he and pre-existing shareholders collectively retain a 24.9 per cent stake, with chief executive James Davies-Yandle and financier Donald Tang added as directors on the club’s board.
Davies said on the club website: “For some time now we have been planning a radical shift of gear and over 12-months of hard work and strategic planning has led to this new partnership with Y11. 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 all 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.”
That future was expanded upon by Davies-Yandle, the founder and CEO of Y11 Sports & Marketing. “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.
“But the environment is changing quickly and rugby is on the verge of going through the same type of evolution as other sports before it. The Ospreys, from a standing start, have gone on to be one of the most exciting brands and teams in rugby.
“Of all the clubs we have seen, its potential to fully emerge and take the next step is far beyond that of its peers. We want to help it make that journey and be a part of that journey by investing in a root and branch transformation of the Ospreys, to ensure it leads the next wave of the game.
“Alongside the Ospreys’ management, we have agreed on a programme of development and investment that will touch every aspect of the organisation’s operations and activities. 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.”
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