CEO Darbon 'over the moon' as Saints receive significant cash injection

Franklin's Gardens
Franklin's Gardens

Saints CEO Mark Darbon believes Premiership Rugby's landmark deal with CVC Capital Partners is 'a fantastic moment for club rugby'.

And he says the significant cash injection that the Premiership Rugby clubs will receive will allow Saints to fund 'the things that important to our supporters'.

Twenty three years after rugby union turned professional, Premiership Rugby has signed an agreement for CVC to invest in a minority shareholding.

It is expected to complete in the first quarter of 2019 and represents the latest commitment by CVC to the sports, media and entertainment sector.

The firm has previously led investments in Moto GP, Formula One, Stage Entertainment and Merlin Entertainments.

And their investment into Premiership Rugby will give Saints a big budget boost, believed to be in the millions.

"It's a fantastic moment for club rugby," Darbon said.

"CVC are an investment business - they've previously invested in Formula 1, a massive global sport, and they've decided to partner with Premiership Rugby to grow the game.

"It's a big deal financially. CVC see an opportunity to help us grow our league, which is already very strong.

"As a club, we own a share of Premiership Rugby and it means we'll receive a cash injection in the short term and collectively we're going to grow the sport here and abroad."

Saints have already agreed new deals for players such as Lewis Ludlam, Ehren Painter and, crucially, lock Courtney Lawes.

But they will also recruit players ahead of next season and the CVC investment will help them do that, as well as giving them more money to enhance facilities and their fans' match-day experience.

"It's a massive moment," Darbon said. "It's a big validation of the league and it's a big validation of the clubs.

"For someone like Saints, who have got a long track record of success, it gives us an opportunity to build on that success, invest in the things are important to the club and, importantly, to invest in the things that are important to our supporters.

"Players are a critical part of what we do and we're fortunate that we've landed our biggest target this year, which was Courtney Lawes. We're very pleased about that.

"Clearly, we want to make sure our players have got the right facilities to perform and we want to deliver a brilliant experience for the supporters who come to watch week in, week out.

"I am over the moon!"