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Young: Announcement can't come quick enough
WASPS are confident of drawing a definitive line under their off-field problems by announcing a major new investor in the coming weeks.
The club expects this to be a long-term solution that will end more than a year of turmoil behind the scenes and enable them to start making concrete plans for the future.
Wasps were up against the wall last summer when previous owner Steve Hayes announced he would give them no more money from June.
A consortium led by Ken Moss rescued the club with a last-gasp rescue package, but that was only ever meant to be a sticking plaster solution and work has continued behind the scenes to find a new backer.
It’s understood Irish investors are now poised to take a major shareholding in the club, while a shirt sponsorship deal is also close to being finalised – although it might not come into play until the summer.
At the moment Wasps have no shirt sponsors.
For director of rugby Dai Young, the announcement can’t come soon enough.
Although Christian Wade and Joe Launchbury have signed contract extensions recently, Billy Vunipola and Tom Varndell are among those who are free agents this summer and have been free to talk to other clubs since January 1.
Young said: “Nobody has expressed any desire to leave, but everybody needs to know that their future is secure.
“The way things are going that’s going to be put into place and everybody will be satisfied.
“I’m sure we’ll get some positive news on the off-field situation sooner rather than later, and it can’t come quick enough because it will help me tremendously with the recruitment and retention.
“I’ve been led to believe it’s a long-term solution and that’s what we’re all hoping for because it’s been a long 15 months.”
Against that backdrop, Wasps’ success on the field this season is all the more remarkable – although Young says the playing staff are ready for a helping hand now.
He said: “Things are moving in the right direction on the field and there are a lot of people working hard off the field.
“That announcement that we are safeguarded will be a big fillip for everybody. And it’s needed. Nobody wants it to go on much longer.
“We’ve had 15 months of turbulance and we’ve done well to keep the squad together and focused.
“But all the postive vibes makes my job in recruitment and retention easier. Without it I think it would be nigh on impossible and a lot of the work we’re doing on the field would be pretty much undone.”