Saturday, September 4, 2010

Investor secures future for Quins


Chairman David Hughes has dispelled doubts over Harlequins' future by pledging to back the club until at least the end of 2014.

Hughes will increase his 35% stake in Quins and says they have no financial worries despite recent high-profile talks with the Rugby Football League.

"I want to make it crystal clear that discussions with the RFL have not been around financial support," he said.

"I can categorically state we did not ask for, or receive, a financial bail."

In August outgoing coach Brian McDermott announced he was leaving the club and raised speculation about the club's future by saying players were in a "a period of uncertainty."


Eight players will be leaving at the end of the 2010 season, most notably home-grown talent Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, who is joining St Helens, and they do not currently have any new arrivals lined up for next season, or a replacement for McDermott.

But writing in the programme for Friday's last Super League game of the season - a 36-22 loss to Warrington - Hughes said he had resolved the issue of club ownership with majority shareholder Ian Lenagan, and the club could now look to the future.

"There has been inevitable uncertainty during this process and in some areas we now need to progress very quickly - the signing and re-signing of players for next season, the appointment of a new head coach and the launch of season tickets," Hughes added.

"We will formally commence the search for a new coach next week. He will be expected to work with the existing and very capable support staff, but we will be looking for this individual to bring in new ideas, a fresh approach and to lead a successful campaign next season."

Although he admitted attendances were still disappointing, Hughes said there were plenty of reasons to be optimistic about the club's future.

"I am genuinely delighted and excited by what has been achieved and the future of the club looks very bright indeed," he continued.

"I am fully committed to support the club next season and also through the next license period until at least 2014. I hope that I can rely on the support of everyone in the region who is passionate, as I am about, this fantastic sport."

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