Wasps boss ready to take the flak


Published: Friday 10th October 2014 by The News Editor

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Wasps chief executive Nick Eastwood has told fans dismayed over the imminent £20million move to the Ricoh Arena to “throw eggs at him” rather than vent their anger at the players.

Sunday’s Aviva Premiership clash with Bath at Adams Park is the first opportunity supporters will have to protest publicly against the decision to relocate to Coventry.

Wasps are prepared for “all possibilities” as they await the fans’ reaction, noting the outrage evident on Twitter, internet forums and blogs has been offset by the lack of complaint made directly to the club.

“What I’d say to the fans is, the players didn’t make the decision, I made the decision,” Eastwood told Press Association Sport.

“If there is any adverse reaction, you’re just damaging the team because on Sunday we’re playing what is probably the best side in the country in Bath.

“So get behind the team and if you want to come and throw eggs at me at the fans’ forum, then throw eggs at me. But the players are the wrong people to go after.”

Eastwood attended the first of two forums for Wasps’ 2,7000 season ticket holders on Thursday night with around 400 making it to the event in Marlow.

It was explained that the club was losing £3million per year, was being kept afloat by a £10million outlay from owner Derek Richardson and had been one minute away from administration in January 2013.

The two main complaints have been the absence of consultation with fans and the location of the new home away from Wasps’ traditional roots in London and the south-east.

Eastwood insists the confidentiality of negotiations made communication with fans impossible and that all options in the search for a site in and around the M25 had been exhausted.

“It’s a heart and heads thing, we absolutely understand that,” Eastwood said.

“That’s what being a fan is about – following sport is a completely irrational thing based on emotion as much as logic.

“Once the emotion has played out and logic starts to take over, people will start to understand why we’re doing this.

“There were two options – we do this or go bust at some point in the future. Those at the forum understood that.

“There were some angry voices, but people were prepared to listen.

“Not everyone will come with us, but it would be good if we could take 2,000 of our season ticket holders to the Ricoh.”

Wasps will decide in the next couple of days when they will make their Ricoh Arena debut, with Castres and London Irish in mid-December the options.

Published: Friday 10th October 2014 by The News Editor

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