Bangkok Lions RFC enter partnership with Leicester Tigers
The Bangkok Lions Rugby Football Club (RFC) have agreed at a recent club meeting to enter into a partnership arrangement with UK based professional rugby club Leicester Tigers. The club also this week announced it is for sale at a price tag of £60 million.
What does the partnership mean?
Bangkok Lions RFC- Thailand
In a statement on the Bangkok Lions club’s Facebook page it said:
“I am very pleased to announce that the Lions members voted unanimously in favour of the Bangkok Lions entering the partnership arrangement with Leicester Tigers. There will be some exciting times ahead and we’re looking forward to seeing rugby continue to grow in Thailand, with the support of Leicester.”
In addition, a 2nd vote was held about a proposed name change and was defeated. The proposed name would see the club be called the Tigers instead of the Lions. The club’s committee instead will “work on how to best introduce the Leicester name into the Lions branding in order to promote the partnership and leverage off the Leicester – Thailand connection.”
The Bangkok Lions RFC recently celebrated its 15th anniversary. In recapping the most recent season it announced:
- The Bangkok Lions now has more than 155 members.
- 28 training sessions were held during the 2019 season.
- The Lions sent touring sides to the KL Tigers rugby tournament in Kuala Lumpur.
- The older age groups played in the Bangkok Sevens in November 2018.
- The younger age groups played at the Bangkok International Tens in February.
In summary, the club said it had had its most successful year for touch rugby and aims to grow in the coming seasons.
The next season for the club starts on Sunday 1st September 2019.
The English Premiership club has already a connection with the KL Tigers (Kuala Lumpur, in Malaysia) which was formed in 2014. The Malaysian rugby club also hosts the KL Tigers International Rugby 10’s. Elsewhere in Asia, Leicester Tigers also has a partner club in India with the Delhi Hurricanes which started its partnership in August 2018.
In the most rugby recent season, the Tigers finished 11th in the English Premiership, which means they will compete in the 2019-20 European Rugby Challenge Cup.
On the 25th June, the rugby club put itself up for sale and is seeking a price of about £60 million. CVC recently purchased a 27% stake in Premiership Rugby. The club’s chairman Peter Tom said: “CVC’s investment in Premiership rugby has created a unique opportunity – catapulting the sport into the public consciousness like never before and broadening its appeal to potential investors.”
Therefore, each Premiership rugby club received £13m and it means the Tigers is now debt free, hence the reasoning to put itself up for sale and appeal to new potential owners and investors.
Saracens Global Club network
English club Saracens, now a European powerhouse after winning the European Cup for the 3rd time in 2019, also has a number of partner clubs around the globe. Again in Kuala Lumpur, the KL Saracens joined the Saracens network a few years ago which has continued to expand around the globe.
It’s not clear what support exactly Saracens or Tigers provide to their partner rugby clubs in Asia.
What do you think about these rugby club partnerships and why is KL such an attraction?