Rugby Lions company insists their ambitious plans are still in place despite liquidation

Rugby Lions - Webb Ellis Road, Rugby.
Rugby Lions - Webb Ellis Road, Rugby.

THE leader of the borough council has called for a 
meeting with Rugby Lions company boss Mike Aland 
after it went into liquidation.

Cllr Craig Humphrey said he was saddened by the demise of the Rugby Football Club (2011) Ltd, which has folded with debts running into many thousands of pounds.

“I’ve requested to meet with Mike Aland on behalf of Rugby Borough Council,” he said.

“We want to find out what’s going on.”

The company was formed to run the club when Mr Aland took over last year.

He arrived at the Webb Ellis Road club with promises to take the club into the Premiership and European Cup. He even talked about a 30,000-seat stadium with a retractable roof.

But the company has wound up with major debts and the squad has disbanded - with several players still waiting for months of wages.

Cllr Humphrey said: “I think it’s a really sad loss for the town.

“We said right from the start that we welcomed the idea of growth and we supported it because of what it could mean for the town. Rugby is the home of the game and it looked like a great opportunity.”

He added: “I am upset for the players too.”

Rugby MP Mark Pawsey echoed his sentiments. “I’m sure there’s enough commitment and strength to keep things going,” said Mr Pawsey.

“I really think it’s a great shame. I, like every other rugby enthusiast, was very excited about them taking the team back to the Premiership.”

He said it was a very ambitious plan. Mr Pawsey added: “It’s sad those hopes aren’t going to be realised.”

“I also feel very sorry for the professional players.”

A statement issued this week by the club said: “At this time we are concluding the financial structure that will ensure the settlement of all debts for the Rugby Football Club (2011) Ltd, ensure the funding is available for the club for the up coming season and ensure the long term success of the club and the development of the new ground.

“During difficult economic times we have worked diligently to complete the transactions that will ensure the above happens.

“The release of sensitive information that was shared with players and staff to provide confidence in the venture has led to delays and in some instances has derailed plans that were being put in place.

“As we work towards completion, no further information will be released outside the senior management team who are working hand in hand with Michael Aland to complete the plans which will ensure the five to seven-year plan for the Rugby Lions’ future.

“At this time we would like to thank all those that continue to support the management team and the supporters that have helped make the past season such a massive success. We ask that you bear with us while we work to complete our goals.”