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Headingley stadium set for new owners and how Leeds Rhinos will be impacted

According to the Telegraph, Headingley Stadium is set for new ownership as has long been rumoured.

After interest from former Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley, it is former Chairman of Yorkshire County Cricket Club Colin Graces who is set to see of Ashley and buy the stadium and lease the stadium back.

A statement from Graves said: “I am pleased that the board of Yorkshire Cricket Club has now accepted my offer, subject to contract. In doing so, the club has agreed to a period of exclusivity until January 5 to finalise minor contractual details.

“Once that point is reached, the offer will be put to the membership at an EGM along with the board’s recommendation that it is accepted in the best interests of the club.”

Headingley is of course a shared stadium between Yorkshire County Cricket Club and Leeds Rhinos but the rugby side is a separate entity owned by Leeds Rhinos owner Paul Caddick.

Thus, this stadium purchase will not impact Leeds directly. Leeds’ side of the stadium has even been renamed recently to AMT Headingley because of a new very profitable sponsorship deal agreed between Leeds Rhinos and AMT which helped lead to Brodie Croft and Andy Ackers signing from Salford Red Devils for a combined fee of £300,000.

Though Leeds haven’t been as busy as Yorkshire over the festive period they have been active making a signing for their women’s team.

Leeds Rhinos Women have signed Ella Donnelly, 26, from Army Rugby League after the forward impressed at the club’s recent trials.

Donnelly, who is a doctor in the army, has played for the England Community Lions and for the Army Rugby League team for the last seven years.

Speaking about signing for Leeds Rhinos Women, Donnelly said: “I’m very excited to be joining the Rhinos, I have been watching the team for a while so am looking forward to playing with them. I’ve been involved with the Army Rugby League team for a number of years now and I know the girls who signed for the club last year, but because I was based down south it wasn’t possible to join Leeds. I went on the trials earlier this year and I was lucky to be selected and fortunately then we were able to put things in motion to make the move to Leeds happen.

“I originally played Rugby Union but when I joined the army I started playing Rugby League. Leeds is a really nice environment to come into because everyone is focused and has an aim. They came so close in all competitions last year and I know they have a goal to win next season and I’m looking forward to being part of that.”

Leeds Rhinos head coach Lois Forsell said: “We were really impressed with Ella when she came to trial for us. She’s trained a few weeks now and has a great attitude and has fitted in well. I am grateful to everyone at the Army who has helped make this move possible.”

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