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Wycombe District Council: "We want Wasps to stay"
COUNCIL bosses say they are willing to talk to London Wasps in a bid to keep them playing in the district, after the club was put up for sale.
Wasps owner Steve Hayes put the Aviva Premiership side on the market yesterday, just weeks after Wycombe District Council’s Cabinet axed proposals for a stadium and sports village at Wycombe Air Park, Booker.
WDC said it wants Wasps to continue to play their trade within the district but admits the future of the two-time Heineken Cup winners’ is up in the air.
In a statement, the council said: “We would really like the club to stay in the district and we've worked with the club to look at a range of alternatives. However, it is for the club to decide what works best for them.
“We're not aware of the details of the discussions around the sale of Wasps, but nothing can be ruled in or ruled out.
“We're sure Steve Hayes will have thought long and hard before putting the club up for sale, and will have made the decision within the context of the club as a business - we hope it will bring future success and wish the club good luck for the future."
The authority said it learnt lessons from the stadium saga but stands by its decision to pull the plug on the failed sports village project.
WDC added: “There was a lot of local opposition to the plans and when the leadership of the council changed, we felt in the current climate it was important to focus energies on other local projects.”
Cllr Jean Teesdale - Cabinet Member for Democratic, Legal and Policy - fiercely fought against the sports village and insists the council made the right decision.
But she hopes a compromise can be reached so Wasps remain in High Wycombe.
She said: “The Booker thing is dead for all the reasons we gave. Nothing has changed, the infrastructure, the location was not right.
“Both clubs are struggling somewhat and judging from the attendance figures they’ve have had this year, I’m not convinced a new stadium is justified.
“I’ve never had a problem with Wasps, it was just where they wanted to go - I wish they could find a Brownfield site as I’m not against them moving grounds.
"I fought against Adams Park as well, as the access was not appropriate, it has been a big problem for a long time.
“No-one wants to see sport clubs leave or stop running, we encourage sport in Wycombe, I just hope we can find a solution so that Wasps can stay in Wycombe.”
See links below to read more on the proposed sale of Wasps and past stories on the stadium saga.
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