Hayes takes over at Wasps
Steve Hayes has been confirmed as the new owner of London Wasps with Lawrence Dallaglio joining the board of directors.
Last Updated: 03/12/08 4:05pm
Wycombe Wanderers managing director Steve Hayes has been confirmed as the new owner of London Wasps.
Hayes, a current board member and director of the club, takes ownership of the Guinness Premiership champions after purchasing the shares of board directors Chris Wright and John O'Connell.
As well as an immediate change of ownership, it has also been announced that former club captains Lawrence Dallaglio and Mark Rigby will join the board of directors.
Speaking at the press conference, Hayes said: "London Wasps is undeniably one of the most successful clubs in Europe on the pitch and, as we look to the future, I have a very clear vision which will incorporate and align all facets of the club to this level of success.
"I want to upgrade the facilities here, it needs some work and I am committed to getting that done.
"We also want to keep and attract the best players, we are clearly England's international side with us having so many international players here.
"The new board is going to be dynamic, the history of our board is well over 100 years and that's a great deal of knowledge and experience.
"We are determined to stay at the forefront of European rugby, and whether coaches, players, board members or staff we all have a major role in supporting this vision."
After watching Wasps lift the Guinness Premiership trophy with a dramatic win over Leicester at Twickenham last season, Hayes admits he is hungry for more silverware.
"I've won just one trophy since being on the board here and I liked the feeling of it, in fact, I liked it a lot and I'd definitely like to have some more of it," he said.
"We are the champions of England, our position in the league is not as we would like but we are not worried about that.
"Wasps are one of the best clubs in the world and I feel absolutely privileged and proud to be the owner and I'm really looking forward to the future."
Dallaglio, who spent 17 years at Wasps from 1993, now swaps his place on the pitch for a seat in the board room alongside another former skipper Rigby.
Speaking at the press conference, Dallaglio expressed his delight and excitement after accepting his new role.
"I'm delighted to be involved and I'm delighted that Steve has come through as the new owner," he said.
"It's no secret that I have been involved with Wasps for 20 years, and anything I do going forward for the next 20 years will be of the interest of Wasps itself.
"I know the machinations and the movements of this squad inside out, I think recruitment is a key area as well as keeping hold of the players we have got at the moment.
"We're a club that do look to be bring in new players if required, and also a club that don't allow our best players to leave."
Director of rugby Ian McGeechan believes the appointment of Hayes reflects just how ambitious the London-based club are to achieve more success in the coming years.
"This announcement is a very positive step for the players and what they are thinking and what their aspirations are," he said.
"We are looking at a step now, a step of change and that is what rugby is all about at the moment. Everybody that is involved here has to be thinking about the next level and the next five years.
"The appointment of Lawrence and Mark to the Board shows there is a strong understanding of the rugby business as part of the new structure.
"Both men bring an understanding and passion for Wasps with them to their new roles, who have both always shown themselves to be strong and effective forward thinkers."