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Consortium advised on successful rescue of Keighley Cougars

Partner Chris Blantern, with assistance from Solicitors Dan Bisby and James Farrell, advised the consortium which was led by Mick O’Neill, to buy the League 1 outfit who had been in special measures under previous owners Austria Holdings.

The Rugby Football League Board has approved the transfer of membership.

Dan Bisby said about the deal‘we were instructed late in the day on this transaction and it was all hands on deck to see it over the line. We are delighted for the consortium and the Club that the deal went through.’

O’Neill, who moved to Australia after his first spell, said: “Being back in control after 20 years means so much to me personally and my family. The town desperately needs a successful rugby league club and we intend to make that happen. All the directors feel the same. We are all looking forward to the challenge and will be working hard to bring a smile back to Cougars and the game.”

He has been joined by Mike Smith and Tim Wood, who were also involved in the 1990s and also Mick O'Neill's son Ryan, Kaue Garcia and Australia based Keighley ex pat Mike Loughtman .  Ownership is split evenly, a voluntarily allocation of 10 per cent of the shares has been given to the Cougars supporters club while Gary Murgatroyd is the club’s new general manager. Austria Holdings took over in August but financial problems soon emerged and numerous players left for other clubs.

Consortium member Tim Wood said "The consortium would like to thank the team at Schofield Sweeney for their extremely professional and responsive assistance leading to the acceptance of its application for RFL Membership. This was a short notice appointment and resulted in a successful outcome at the end of a brief period of intense activity."

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Chris Blantern


Chris has a wealth of experience acting for a wide range of clients from small to medium sized enterprises…

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