Spirit of 1873 Ltd the new owner of the Wakefield Trinity Wildcats Rugby League Club, issued the following release on 17 February 2011:
Getting started – securing the future
Having finalised the paperwork and signed the deal to seal the purchase of the Club earlier today the Company is moving rapidly to implement its plans.
Confirming that the deal with the administrators has been done the new Chairman of the Wakefield Trinity Wildcats, Andrew Glover, said: “This is very much the beginning for us. We have a clean start and the chance to show that the Wildcats have not just a future but a great future.
We have an awful lot to do – replacing the players that the administrators sold so that we have a strong and exciting Super League squad is just the starting point. However, our new management team is now in place and we’ve already started on putting our plans into action both on the field and off it.”
Despite the very short time since the legal documents were signed the new team has already done deals to bring in new players and players on loan to strengthen the squad. Details of the new and loan signings will be made shortly.
As part of the Company’s longer term plan we are delighted to announce that James Elston, the Wakefield Trinity Wildcats’ Chief Executive, has been appointed a Director of Spirit of 1873 Ltd, alongside Andrew Glover.
Andrew Glover said: “I’ve seen James as a key part of the Wakefield Trinity Wildcats team since I started looking at the Wildcats. He brings real experience both on and off the field and has a comprehensive knowledge of the workings of the Club. I’m delighted to have him join me on the board.”
Commenting on his appointment James Elston said: “It is fantastic to have the difficulties of the last few months behind us and to know that the long-term future of the Wildcats is secure.
We recognise that the fans and the sponsors are partners in our Club’s future. Our plans include working closely with fan representatives to make sure that everyone understands how we can make the business that is the Wakefield Trinity Wildcats viable while enhancing the enjoyment of game days.”
Andrew said: “One of James’ key tasks is to finalise our Super League licence application ahead of the April deadline. We have already held discussions with the Rugby Football League and we’re confident that we can put forward a compelling proposal supporting the argument that a true Super League has to include the Wakefield Trinity Wildcats.”
James added: “We know that, with all the recent events, it could be a really difficult story to sell but all of the Wakefield Trinity Wildcats team are committed to working hard to put in the best application that we can.”
The Company has already announced that it will strongly support the planning application for the new stadium planned for the Newmarket site. However, Andrew Glover was at pains to stress that the Wakefield Trinity Wildcats’ future Super League status does not depend on approval for that site being won.
A valued member of the Community
James’ role will involve working closely with the coaching staff on team matters as well as supporting the Community Trust in its work in the Wakefield area.
Wakefield Trinity Wildcats aims to be a valuable member of the local community and will encourage all the Club’s players and staff to become involved in activities that support the development of the Wakefield area, its people and its economy.
The Company is keen to see the activities of the Community Trust expand. James said: “The Community Trust has done wonderful work enhancing the health and fitness levels in the Wakefield area. We want to see this continue and also develop to include bringing more local rugby league players through onto the club, national and international stages.”
The Club and the Community Trust will make further announcements about their plans once the details have been finalised. Everyone at Wakefield Trinity Wildcats encourages anyone who would like to help the Community Trust in its activities or who has ideas about activities that the Wakefield Trinity Wildcats or the Trust could be involved in to contact James at the Rapid Solicitors Stadium.
Growing the game grows our Club
Andrew explained that Wakefield Trinity Wildcats is about more than just the success of the Wildcats: “We really believe in our motto of Together We Are Stronger – it is at the root of all our plans for the future.
This isn’t just about growing the Wakefield area, important as that is to us, we also believe the same is true for Rugby League across the country. We are looking to work closely with the RFL to promote the growth of the game at all levels, right across the UK.
Wakefield Trinity Wildcats already run 5 teams from Under 15s through to the Super League squad and we believe that we can use that as the basis for growing the player base of the game. In addition, we feel that the commercial and entrepreneurial skills that Wakefield Trinity Wildcats brings can be driving force in increasing the visibility and popularity of Rugby League at large.”
The Company’s support for the RFL will include being actively involved in development programmes and in helping to secure the finances of the game on a national basis.
Andrew said: “We are real advocates of the view that growing the nation’s interest in playing and watching the game of Rugby League will be good for everyone, including the Wakefield area and the Wildcats.”
The view from the pitch
Asked for his view on today’s news Glenn Morrison said: “We’re delighted and relieved that Wakefield Trinity Wildcats are now fully on board. Andrew’s passion for Wakefield Trinity Wildcats is already really obvious and James’ involvement in the day-to-day means we already feel that stability off the field has been restored.
The news that we’re adding to the squad and bringing in players of real class is just the boost that we need ahead of the Catalans’ game this weekend.
To be honest, today’s news is just what the players needed to know – that the future is secure, that we’ll have a strong team on and off the pitch and that we can all focus on giving our all in every game.
It’s definitely fired up the players and the coaching staff. We’re really going to play our part in building a successful future for the Wildcats – and one that’s at the heart of the Super League.”
Wakefield Trinity Wildcats will make further announcements to keep the Wildcats’ fans, sponsors and supporters around the world up to speed with our plans and the new developments at the Club.
Wakefield Trinity Wildcats Ltd
17 February 2011