Sheffield Eagles Rugby League Football Club can confirm the club will be participating in the 2017 Kingstone Press Championship season as the club continues to make strides to secure their future beyond the upcoming campaign.
Recent developments have ensured that the club will be financially viable for the 2017 season and return the club to a stable and secure footing after difficult and strenuous five month period.
Sheffield Eagles can also confirm positive news with regards to the club’s longer term ambitions with the new proposed ‘sponsor’ reiterating his commitment to the project of building a rugby stadium so the club can return to the Steel City in 2018.
The sponsor is continuing positive dialogues with Sheffield City Council, whilst the Eagles have the full backing of the Rugby Football League, who are now satisfied with the club’s current off the field situation.
As a result a host of signings will be announced in the coming week, ahead of our first pre-season friendly against Doncaster on Sunday 22nd January.
Acting CEO and Head Coach Mark Aston said, “We have had a very, very tough time over the past few months but let there be no doubt, Sheffield Eagles will be here for the 2017 season and the signs remain positive for our long term future.”
“We have worked around the clock to ensure the club remains alive and will be able to compete this year and we now have the environment to bring stability back to the Eagles.
“The RFL have said they are happy with our situation coming into the new season, and we can say that we are working tirelessly to be competitive on and off the field and rebuild this great club. The appointment of Chris Noble MBE as Chairman has helped bring a firm steadiness to the club, and he will play a big part in spearheading our short and long term plans.
“He has taken over from an excellent Chairman in Ian Swire who held the post for 17 years, since we reformed in 1999 and for those 17 years, we didn’t found ourselves in financial hardship until this season. Ian’s departure from the club was planned for some time and we can’t thank him enough for his great service. Having only one turbulent time, as we have just suffered, in 17 years can be rare in professional sport now but we’ve had our tough time and now it’s to re-focus and develop Sheffield Eagles.”
“Whilst we would like our long term future to be resolved sooner rather than later, we understand that it takes time. In the meantime, we have taken measures to ensure that we are on a stable footing, whilst the council and the sponsor continue discussions.
“The council have recently informed us that the sponsor’s planned green energy business will be classed as an ‘inward investment’, that means that if the land sourced doesn’t work out for any reason, they will help support somewhere else for him. Once that is finalised, the sponsor will then push forward plans for the new stadium and investing in the club.”
The Eagles’ prospective sponsor added:
“We are committed to building a home for Sheffield Eagles and developing at Centre of Excellence for both code of Rugby.
“We want to see a coordinated strategy for developing rugby in the Sheffield region and having highest level of rugby in the City at the new Stadium in 2018.
“We believe working with Sheffield City Council, and the renewable energy projects, we have we can have sustainable investment into both codes of rugby from three year olds up to professional rugby, which the Sheffield region has been wanting for many years.”
The club would like to go on record again, thanking Wakefield Trinity and Michael Carter for their assistance in hosting the Eagles at Belle Vue in 2017.
Mark Aston added, “We are indebted to Wakefield for their support. The costs at Wakefield are significantly less than what we have to pay for temporary stands alone in 2016, before even taking into account other match day costs such as stewarding and first aid.
“We are also indebted to the players who have remained with the club, we have moved from full-time to part-time and they have been great as have the number of players who have joined us and will be announced over the next week.”
“We need fans to get behind us because let it be known – Sheffield Eagles is alive and will be coming back to the Steel City!”