London Welsh keen to purchase Kassam Stadium
January 4, 2013
London Welsh have played at the Kassam Stadium since the start of the season © Getty Images
London Welsh managing director John Taylor has revealed that the Aviva Premiership side are looking to buy the Kassam Stadium.
The Exiles are currently ground-sharing the stadium with Oxford United following their promotion to the top flight before the current season. The ground is owned by Firoz Kassam and Taylor has revealed that "conversations have been had" with the former owner of Oxford United.
London Welsh previously played at Old Deer Park but the ground's capacity of 5,850 fell well below the Kassam's 12,500. And Welsh are now looking to secure their long-term future both in the Premiership and in Oxford.
"When we first came here there was a bit of opportunism about it in that we had to find a stadium that satisfied the minimum stadium's criteria," Taylor told the BBC. "This is one of them and seemed the best. But since we have arrived we have decided Oxford is the area for us. The ground and the demographics of the population make it suitable for us.
"We have put a lot of work in the local community. We have two community development officers based here now. We are into the schools, we are moving into the clubs and we see this as our long-term home. We are certainly exploring the possibility and we are looking for ways we can raise the money so we can do it."
The next step for London Welsh will be to secure investors and Taylor has confirmed that there is some interest from within Wales in helping the side fund the purchase. "A stadium is a big investment but in some ways it is a good investment because you have bricks and mortar," Taylor added. "Some investors want some actual structure rather than just a club.
"There are some fairly heavy-weight guys in the Welsh community who are exploring it with us at the moment. It would be premature to say any more than that but we are certainly looking into it."
© ESPN EMEA Ltd
Ask John answers questions on the Leopards' tour to Italy in 1974, brotherly Test sides, Pat McGrath, England's games against the Barbarians and Jacques Brunel
"We were only five metres away in the last Test of getting that try and with Jonny's inevitable conversion, we'd have won it." Tom Hamilton talks to Lions fullback Matt Perry
Toulon's Heineken Cup final victory over Clermont Auvergne may have ended a long title drought for the Top 14 club but two of their players are no strangers to success