With many clubs battling poor financial circumstances, it comes as no surprise that six Rugby League teams are attempting to borrow money from a fund backed by Emirates NBD. As indicated by The Times, the six clubs are thought to belong to the Coca-Cola Championship, with Southampton identified as one of the likely candidates.
Hero Global Rugby Fund managers recently announced that several clubs have expressed interest in securing financial assistance from the group, as a way of helping them overcome repercussions of the economic crisis. However, because members of the Fund are currently working to secure additional funding, no lending will take place before the end of May.
The concept began with City fund managers Nick Hely-Hutchinson and Damian Roberts, with plans to acquire GBP 100 million through investments of GBP 100,000. These funds will be issued to clubs experiencing difficulty with player purchases and sales.
Roberts told The Times that a great deal of interest has been expressed within the league, as many clubs continue to battle the effects of financial distress. Partner Hely-Hutchinson was quick to add that after receiving support from the Fund, the decision to buy or sell rests with the club, and that no third-party ownership will take place.
Rugby League ex-chairman Keith Harris further commented on the arrangement, noting that it is becoming increasingly difficult for clubs to secure bank funding. As an alternative, Harris believes the Hero Fund will allow clubs to obtain flexible and solid support, with a long-term focus.