Oval Talk

Wasps ready to build again

Oval Talk

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Takeover heralds a new era at Wasps

After securing their Premiership status despite defeat by Newcastle on Saturday, Wasps would have — in ordinary circumstances — been able to start planning for next season.

As it stands the six-times English champions and twice European Cup holders are now awaiting the outcome of a 'period of exclusivity', as a consortium headed by former Wasps player Ken Moss works through the finer details of a deal which looks set to be wrapped up by the end of May.

All being well the club will finally have in place the solid financial footing — not to mention business structure — it needs to put what has been a dark chapter in its illustrious history firmly in the past.

While the money men do their thing, the coaching and playing staff can tentatively start to make their preparations for the pre-season, and focus fully on matters on the pitch after a tense finale to the season in which the off-field developments must no doubt have been a major influence. Combined with a plethora of injuries in the run-in for Premiership survival, it was a desperate scrap to stay up.

There is plenty to be optimistic about with a raft of promising young talent coming through in the shape of academy products Christian Wade, Joe Launchbury, Billy Vunipola, Elliott Daly and Sam Jones.

And with the addition of former players Tom Palmer and James Haskell, Wales' most capped player Stephen Jones and South African Ashley Johnson to the players already in place, the club has an excellent base to push on from.

Reports on the consortium have indicated that the group harbours substantial expertise in the sport commercial field, and that a new stadium site some 10 minutes away from Wasps' current Adams Park home in Wycombe has already been identified. How the change in home venue will sit with fans is a separate issue, but the chance to see their club potentially planning in a manner which seemed far from likely only a few months ago is another positive.

While nothing in detail has yet been confirmed and the deal is still pending sign-off, the prospect of significant investment to match the club's talent pool, history and culture will at least afford the fans the chance to start dreaming about a return to glory.

For rugby fans of all clubs that is a more welcome outlook than the one which had threatened to develop.

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