Cardiff set for 'significant investment' in takeover

Cardiff are set to be taken over by new investors after a turbulent time at the Arms Park.

The Welsh region says "Heads of Terms have been signed to change the major shareholding of the club and unlock significant investment".

In June they denied a merger with Welsh rivals Ospreys was on the cards.

At the same time Cardiff admitted considering offers for the shareholding of ex-chairman Peter Thomas, who died last March.

In a statement confirming new backers are set to be involved, Cardiff said: "In recent months there have been a number of approaches and discussions with various parties interested in the club.

"An agreement has now been reached with one of these groups, who have a long personal association with Cardiff Rugby but no existing investments in professional rugby.

"The company will continue to work through the administrative process and will update all stakeholders on the exciting vision for the future of the club and its associated teams in due course."

The statement would rule out any deal with Ospreys owners Y11 Sports & Media because of their "existing investment in professional rugby".

The new deal also has the backing of the Thomas family, who stated via Cardiff on social media: "The club has been an enormous part of our lives and was a lifelong passion of our beloved husband and father.

"We will always stand behind the club, but we believe the time is now right to step aside and allow somebody else to take the reins."

The family added in the statement added: "We are confident the new group of investors have the very best interest of Cardiff Rugby at heart and are the right people to deliver upon the legacy left behind."

Money worries

Wales' four professional rugby sides, Cardiff, Ospreys, Dragons and Scarlets, have been under financial pressure, with a drop in funding and then a subsequent delay in receiving expected monies.

In Cardiff's case, chief executive Richard Holland wrote in January they there were trying to "unlock" funds to ease financial pressures and to ensure they had enough players for 2023-24.

A new six-year deal between the WRU and the teams was signed in March.

In July chairman Alan Jones described the previous few months as "one of the most challenging periods in the club's long history".

Against that backdrop, Cardiff were also dealing with the initial suspension of coaching boss Dai Young in April. He left the Arms Park in July after an investigation into bullying allegations found "insufficient evidence" against the former dual-code international prop.

Under the six-year agreement, salary caps will be introduced for the 2023-24 season - £5.2m reducing to £4.5m for the 2024-25 campaign.

But the deal - a new Professional Rugby Agreement (PRA) that will run until 2029 - required a number of organisations to give their approval, including most notably the Welsh Government because of a current loan agreement it holds with the WRU and regions.

That saw the regions in some cases unable to offer player contracts, with players opting to leave for more secure deals outside Wales - while there has long been speculation the financial situation could see one of the regional sides cut or merged with another to leave Wales with three teams.

However, Cardiff now appear to be moving towards a period of security.

More to follow.