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London Welsh takeover agreed after club avoid liquidation

Published 05/09/2016

London Welsh were in the Premiership as recently as 2015
London Welsh were in the Premiership as recently as 2015

London Welsh say they are close to being taken over by a California-based investment group after the club avoided a High Court winding-up order.

Welsh have paid their debts and swerved the order from Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs.

The Championship club, who were relegated from the top flight in 2015 after losing all 22 of their games, have faced money troubles over several years.

However, Mr Registrar Briggs, sitting in the bankruptcy and companies division of the High Court in London, took just moments to dismiss the winding-up petition after hearing that the debt owed to HMRC had been paid.

The amount owed was not disclosed in court and it was then announced the club was to be taken over.

A statement from Welsh read: "London Welsh RFC is pleased to confirm reports that the petition presented to the High Court this morning to wind up the club and place it into liquidation was dismissed.

"Coupled with this, the club is also delighted to announce the recent signing of a Sale and Purchase Agreement for the acquisition of the club by a major Californian-based investment group, which is only subject to formal approval by the RFU (Rugby Football Union).

"The financial security which will be afforded the club as a result of this new investment will now enable it to plan for the future with confidence and renewed enthusiasm."

Chairman Bleddyn Phillips added: "We are thrilled and very excited to be able to announce the arrival of a new owner which will provide the club with the financial strength to sustain its ambition to be not only a competitive rugby team playing in the top tiers of the game in the United Kingdom but, equally importantly, to consolidate and enhance its social, community and amateur based activities at its spiritual home at Old Deer Park".

Welsh's long battle with debt included a spell in administration in 2009. They won promotion to the Premiership in 2012 and 2014 but were quickly relegated on both occasions.

Among the club's finest moments was providing seven members of the victorious 1971 British and Irish Lions tour to New Zealand.

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