Mike Cuddy: 'I am staying on as Ospreys director'
MIKE Cuddy has revealed why he has decided to stand aside as managing director of the Ospreys — and how he set up a million pound-plus funding deal that has helped secure the future of the region.
Cuddy has stressed he will be staying on as a director and significant shareholder. And he explained how his parting gift as managing director saw him introduce funding partners to the region, leading to the conclusion of a cash deal that has left the Ospreys better placed financially than they have been at any point since their inception. Cuddy said: "We've been working on a restructuring plan at the Ospreys for over 12 months and my change of role is part of the process.
"While I am standing down as joint managing director, I will continue to be heavily involved as a director and significant shareholder in both the Ospreys and in Llandarcy Park (Ospreys) Ltd, the holding company, as well as continuing to sponsor the club.
"Ospreys fans can be assured therefore that my future commitment will be ongoing and long-term."
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He acknowledged there had been testing times at the Ospreys of late.
"It's no secret that Welsh regional rugby is under immense pressure, with the operating environment more challenging than ever," he continued.
"Times have been very tough for the Ospreys and I have been working hard to help construct the platform the club needs in order to move forward and achieve its undoubted potential, on and off the field.
"I introduced the club to various funding partners, and last Friday, my negotiations were brought to a conclusion, with the result that the club has been successfully refinanced with an injection of a significant seven-figure sum.
"The club is now on the soundest financial footing since its inception and the management team at the club now has every opportunity to move the Ospreys forward with the knowledge that the club is financially secure. I would like to offer my thanks to my good friends Kerry Bailey (PKF), Richard Price (New Century Finance), Martin Williams and Close Finance, for working with me to place the club in this position."
Cuddy will no longer be at the wheel on a day-to-day basis, his duties being assumed by Roger Blyth and Andrew Hore. But he underlined he wasn't departing the scene completely.
"Having concluded the deal, the next step was for me to stand down as joint MD, and step back from day-to-day involvement," he said.
"My commitment to the Ospreys cause has been total for nearly ten years and has often worked to the detriment of the many other things in my life.
"Of late, my workload has become an increasingly heavy one and I owe it to my family, my companies, and the hundreds of people who work for me, to adjust the balance of what I do and how I do it.
"But let me reiterate, I will continue to be heavily involved and am most certainly not walking away.
"The Ospreys is forever a part of me. I conceived it, birthed it and helped nurture it through its formative years; I mean, cut me in half and I'd have 'Ospreys' running around my inside like a stick of rock."
Confirming the deal that has secured the Ospreys future, chairman Geoff Atherton, said: "The Ospreys Rugby Club, and its parent company Llandarcy Park (Ospreys) Ltd, are pleased to confirm that they have concluded the successful completion of a refinance of the business.
"This refinance will put the organisation on a sound financial footing going forward and will allow the club to focus on furthering its on-field success.
"The Ospreys are extremely grateful to Mike Cuddy for effecting the introduction of our new lending partners and for his ongoing financial commitment to the club, along with that of all other directors and shareholders who have also maintained and furthered their investment within the club.
"We appreciate that there has recently been uncertainty around the club and amongst our loyal fan base. We trust that these issues can now be put firmly behind us and look forward to many years of success on and off the field."