Wakefield Trinity Wildcats held a general meeting of shareholders on Tuesday 4th January at which shareholders were given an update on stadium, licensing and the general position of the club.
The club confirmed it was deeply disappointed the planning application on the Newmarket stadium had been called in for public enquiry on 16th December. Not only does this mean a delay to the stadium development but the club was to receive funds of £350,000 on planning being granted as part of the clubs agreement with the developer which are now also delayed.
Meetings have been held with the Developer and Sir Rodney Walker on behalf of Wakefield & District Community Trust and all parties agree that whilst this is a set back it does not stop the development pushing ahead through the planning process. All parties are as committed as always to delivering the stadium and sports facilities for the City. The club remain convinced that this development will happen the question which cannot be answer at this time is when.
In April the Wildcats apply for a Super League license for 2012 – 2014. An essential part of the licensing process is facilities and Newmarket will still be included in the Wildcats bid. However, the club confirmed it has contingency plans in place to play out of the district in super league compliant stadiums until such time as Newmarket comes to fruition. The club are working under confidentiality processes and cannot give further details but once the legal processes have been completed will make these plans public.
The key performance indicators around which licensing is based are Facilities, Spectator Base, Finance, Commercial & Marketing and Community Trusts and the club feels its license application will score strongly on Facilities (using the stadiums mentioned above) Commercial, Marketing and the Community Trust. However it may face tough opposition in spectator base whilst the club can show year on year growth and a continuing upward trend on attendances it has not reached the 10,000 limit.
Financially the club has faced a tough economic climate during times of a deep recession and losing the £350,000 from cash flow creates a difficult environment in which to work. During the summer the club appealed for new investors to come forward and two interested parties have undergone a due diligence process and attended meetings with Super League and Rugby Football League representatives and the Stadium Developer yet despite assurances neither offer has been realised.
The club needs to do everything it can to generate extra funds and called for 500 people to come forward to each pay £1,000 each and generate £500,000 for the club.
The Board of Directors said they have been told repeatedly that people would support the club and come forward with financial assistance if the current Board were not involved. Therefore the Board are offering this opportunity to shareholders, supporters and new investors to come forward and create a new Board of Directors under this scheme.
The question is are there 500 people out there who have the club at heart - what does this club mean to you?
This is Wakefield. Together We Are Stronger.