Nottingham Rugby: Championship club in talks with new backers

Joe Duffey

Financially-troubled Championship club Nottingham Rugby are in discussions with two potential new owners.

Green & Whites chairman Alistair Bow also revealed that club directors helped finance the £250,000 shortfall needed to finish their last campaign.

But he said hopes of returning to the play-off semi-finals next term rest on the confirmation of a new backer.

"There have been positive conversations going on for a while now," Bow told BBC Radio Nottingham.

"The current board of directors and sponsors all managed to dip their hands into their pockets to keep the club going.

"At this level we have an annual shortfall that can be anywhere up to £500,000 and as a club we could quite happily survive on what we generate from income.

"But if we want to continue playing at the top of the Championship we do need to find a major investor."

After clinching second place in the Championship last month, Nottingham's highest league finish in more than 20 years, the Meadow Lane club announced their latest financial crisis.

Before their difficulties were made public, Nottingham won eight of their 10 league matches from 23 December to qualify for the first semi-final series in their history.

But the Green & Whites failed to win again, losing their last three games, including both home and away play-off ties against Bedford.

Despite the club's money troubles, Martin Haag has added four new players to his squad for next season. Fiji international prop Campese Ma'afu, Connacht fly-half Matthew Jarvis, Irish lock Neilus Keogh and Plymouth player of the year Jon Vickers have all signed.

Still, Haag only has a squad of 19 players for next term following the exit of 10 others.

Among them are former Japan international James Arlidge (retired), centre Tim Streather (Saracens) and the release of five players, including former junior England international Jack Cobden.

"We have a squad together now for next season, it is not as deep as we would like, but we do have a little bit of time," Bow said.

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