Nigel Wray: Saracens chairman to reclaim full control of Premiership club

Nigel Wray in the Saracens dressing room with the Premiership trophy
Saracens' hold of the European Champions Cup after wins in 2016 and 2017 was ended on Sunday with a quarter-final defeat by Leinster in Dublin

Saracens chairman Nigel Wray is to reclaim complete control of the twice European champions by buying back shares he sold to a South African firm nine years ago.

Remgro, controlled by South African billionaire Johann Rupert, are selling their 50% stake back to Wray after deciding to withdraw their investment.

In a club statement, Wray said talks had begun with new investors.

"New money will always go into the club to continue building it," he added.

"We all want Saracens to be great for the next 100 years and it's quite likely, some might indeed even say probable, that I won't be here for the next 100 years, so in due course we need to bring in extra investment into the club from outside."

Saracens, whose hold on the European Champions Cup was ended on Sunday, are second in the Premiership table, eight points adrift of leaders Exeter, after 18 games.

Wray, who first invested in the London club in 1995, said there was undue haste to find new investment was unnecessary, despite predicting that the club game "is going to expand hugely in the years ahead."

He added: "We are already speaking to people, good people, who wish to invest in the club and take it forward but there is no rush for the moment, as it is so important to find really good people who share our values."

Saracens, who are to open a free school in September, reported a pre-tax loss of £2.7m in 2017, despite turning over £17.8m in the 12 months up to 30 June last year.

But their losses last year were down by £520,000 on the previous 12 months.

Loans of £25m owed to Rupert are to be written off when Remgro transfers its shares, according to The Times.

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