Ospreys deal heralds "Transformation"

Ospreys Rugby announced today that it has completed a deal with Asian based sports marketing group ‘Y11 Sports & Media’ to acquire a majority shareholding in the rugby region, heralding what the new shareholders have said is the ‘long-term transformation’ of the Ospreys.

The transaction sees Y11 acquire 75.1% of the Ospreys, in what is being described as a ‘multi-year, multi-million-pound deal’, with all the financial benefits from the transaction to be ploughed back into the Ospreys.  A new holding company - Ospreys International Group - has been established for the purpose.

Ospreys chairman, Rob Davies - who along with the other pre-existing shareholders will collectively retain a 24.9% stake - continues in his role.  Y11 CEO, James Davies-Yandle, along with his business partner, financier Donald Tang, have now both joined the board of Ospreys Rugby as directors.

Speaking today, Ospreys chairman, Rob Davies, said:

Rob Davies, Ospreys Chairman
"Since the advent of regional rugby, the Ospreys have always aimed to be its pioneers. We haven’t been afraid to do things differently and to push the envelope. Today’s announcement is us doing the same again.”

“For some time now we’ve been planning a radical shift of gear and, from that, over 12-months of hard work and strategic planning has led to this new partnership with Y11.

“It was essential we found a partner who shared our ambition and vision, but with the cultural understanding, expertise and resources to propel the region and community all into a new era.  We needed to secure the success of the past, whilst embracing fully the future and that is what we are now doing together.  We’re thrilled by the opportunities ahead.”

“We are confident all our stakeholders and partners will be as excited about this development as we are. We have confided in the Welsh Rugby Union Executive and kept them fully aware of this development and now we look forward to planning for the Ospreys future.”

Those opportunities were expanded upon by Y11 Sports & Marketing founder and CEO James Davies-Yandle:

“Rugby’s potential has been overlooked for too long as other sports have been nimbler at seizing commercial opportunities to power success on the pitch with revenues off it.   But the environment is changing quickly and rugby is on the verge of going through the same type of evolution as other sports before it.

“The Ospreys, from a standing start, have gone on to be one of the most exciting brands and teams in rugby.  Of all the clubs we’ve seen, its potential to fully emerge and take the next step is far beyond that of its peers.  We want to help it make that journey and be a part of that journey by investing in a root and branch transformation of the Ospreys, to ensure it leads the next wave of the game.

“Alongside the Ospreys’ management, we have agreed a programme of development and investment that will touch every aspect of the organisation’s operations and activities.  Initially, we will take our time together to methodically build operational strength, capacity and resilience, before rapidly accelerating programmes across the board.  Crucially, we are not going to allow ourselves to be held back by the current operating environment and we are not going to be afraid to break the mold.  Ultimately, our reach and our sights are set far beyond our existing borders and our business model and expertise are too.

James Davies-Yandle, Y11 Sports & Marketing founder and CEO.
“It’s an exciting time for the Ospreys: its team, its supporters, the organisation as well as for the game of rugby.”