Chairman’s Update

posted on 16 March 2011

Good Morning Fans,

Here is an update of what has been happening here at The Rapid Solicitors Stadium over the last few weeks.

It’s been nearly a month now and I feel we are starting to see some of the planned changes.  My team are working really well with me, and each other, and are really starting to drive the business in the right direction.  I know all the changes we have made are not visible to everyone, but they are all vitally important to us and the future of this, soon to be great again, club.

I’d like to list some of the changes we have made. There is a mixture of small and large, but I am very much into the finer details, so they are all of great importance:

Cleaning – We have started to clean the whole stadium.  The smaller things like cleaning the toilets make a large difference to everyone.

Decoration – Cats bar has had an over haul, we have re painted the yellow safety lines throughout the stadium, the changing rooms are ongoing and the whole hospitality suite has been painted.

New Corporate – We have created a new corporate hospitality area called ‘Spirit of 1873 Suite’.  This is a 70 seater restaurant serving fine food and drink.

New exclusive home fans bar – We have moved the old Trinity Suite experience upstairs into our Spirit Suite, which has allowed us to create a public fans bar on the ground floor of the hospitality block, complete with flat screen Sky Sports TV’s.

Sky Sports – We have had Sky sports fitted into the Cats bar, Trinity Bar and the new Spirit of 1873 Suite.

New carpets – These are being fitted throughout the stadium.  This is a work in progress but we are on our way with it.

Catering – This is now ‘in house’ which means that any profits that are made from this goes directly back into the club.  This includes all the bars and restaurants, hot dog vans and refreshment huts.

Match day food – with the addition of Graham Easby (of Easby’s of Yorkshire) to our team, we now offer a large range of match day food, from pie and peas through to 5 course meals.

New signage and branding – you may notice that we have started to change the signage through out the stadium.  This is to fall in line with the full rebrand that we will go through, over the coming months.  You will start to notice small changes, from our trailers through to our new TV adverts and website (all coming soon).

Match Day Programme – We have renamed the programme ‘This is Trinity’, to try and keep a grip on our heritage.  The first issue went out at our last home game against Warrington.  This version was still a work in progress due to the little time we had before the game, there’s  still improvements to be made which will be in place for our next edition.

I am sure there are more, but they escape me at the moment.

All of the above are very important for us to make this club profitable, but don’t change our performance on the field.  This is quite obviously the most difficult challenge we have.  There are funds available for players, but we are finding it very difficult to sign anyone, with the experience and quality we desire.

There is always a question mark over our future, it’s going to be difficult to find people that are prepared to commit to the club.  We are actively looking to make the improvements we need and are considering all available players.

As we stand at the moment, we still don’t have the ability to sign overseas players, as you need a licence to sponsor them.  This will take at least 4 more weeks to come.  We still have 2 overseas quotas left and a couple of great players in the pipeline, unfortunately none signed as of yet.

There is also the question over where we will be playing.  Newmarket is still plan A, as that will guarantee our future for years to come.  Unfortunately, we don’t have a timescale on this and if we only look at this, it’s virtually a certainty that we will lose our Super League licence for the next 3 years.

With this in mind, James and I are looking at all possibilities available, including a stadium share with another club in Wakefield, the redevelopment of Belle Vue and even sharing Newmarket with Castleford, which should guarantee both clubs future.  I know that the last option to share with Castleford may not sit pretty with a lot of fans, but it may be the only way forward and something we have to look at.

Alongside these developments, we have also renewed our relationship with the Wakefield Express.  We have managed to sit down with the paper and have a sensible discussion over how to get the most out of them for the club.  We have agreed with them that they will help us to promote the club, over the next few weeks, while we put our Super League application together.

Our Super League application is well under way now.  We are not only using it as a document for the RFL, but a working document to aid us to run the club for the future.  Again, as I mentioned in the Fans Forum, we are still bottom of the pile, so have miles to go before we can feel confident about our position.  We still need ALL our fans to continue to support us, it really will make a massive difference to our application if we can get you all to come and watch us.  One of the main criteria is our game attendance, so this is an area you can ALL help.

Another part of the application that you can all help with is the membership.  We need to have 5000 members or season ticket holders, to strengthen our application, so I urge you to come down to the shop and buy one of our Silver Memberships.  These are just £30, but offer you an overall saving of much more than that, but more importantly, they will help secure the future of the club.

Okay, that’s it for now.  I will give you more information, once our Super League application is in and we know more about our future.

In the mean time, I thank you all for your support and urge you to continue because this really is Wakefield and together, we really are stronger.

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