Struggling Newcastle Vipers put up for sale
NEWCASTLE Vipers are up for sale. The Elite League strugglers are in discussions about selling a stake in the club.
And chairman Paddy O’Connor has admitted he would be prepared to hand over 100%, even if it left him out of pocket.
The Vipers welcome Braehead Clan to Hillheads on a high tonight after consecutive morale-boosting victories in the last week. But it should not disguise the fact they are only a point off the bottom of the table, and running a skeleton squad.
O’Connor acknowledges that reinforcements are desperately needed, but none will be forthcoming without new investment.
Asked what form any investment might take and when it might materialise, the former Great Britain international was unable to provide any concrete answers. “They’re very open discussions at the moment and there’s anonymity clauses involved,” he said. “Talks are literally ongoing but I would like to be able to say things will happen very soon.
“From a personal point of view as long as the club’s secure, financially and personally I’m not really interested.”
O’Connor only returned to the club as chairman this summer, having initially been in charge between 2005 and 2007.
Since the Elite League’s formation, the gap between rich and poor has never been wider.
With a ten-point gap between fifth and sixth in the table, it is very obvious where the fault line lies. Very definitely in the latter group, the Vipers are struggling to keep their heads above water.
“It’s difficult times,” admitted O’Connor. “We haven’t managed to get the revenues we would like.
“We’re working around the clock to bring a deal together where we could have some additional investment.