• Millionaire has bankrolled rugby club since 2008-9 season
• Wants to ensure both have 'financial stability for generations'
Steve Lansdown, the man behind Bristol City, has bought into rugby as well, giving Bristol Rugby the financial stability it has craved since the arrival of the professional game. The club, relegated three times from the Premiership but in pole position to return, on Tuesday named Lansdown as its majority shareholder.
They also revealed he had been bankrolling the club since the 2008‑09 season when it looked like going out of business, and is responsible for the influx of new players who have helped the club move nine points clear in the Championship with three weeks of the regular season to run.
However, Lansdown, who is worth an estimated £750m, has cautioned fans against expecting massive spending and said he wanted to make sure the club was on a stable footing before announcing his involvement. "My main concern with Bristol City – and now with Bristol Rugby – is to make sure those clubs survive within their means and have financial stability for future generations."
Bristol have signed a lease to stay at the Memorial Stadium next season. But if Bristol City get planning permission for their new ground on the opposite side of town at Ashton Vale there will be obvious advantages in closer ties. "There is, of course, a bigger picture," said Lansdown. "But the only common factor between the two is myself. The rugby club is a separate entity. It is not being absorbed by Bristol City or anything like that."