For nearly four years now, myself and Chris have worked tirelessly on a completely free basis to try and turn Wakefield Trinity into a Super League Club to be proud of. We inherited a business making an underlying loss in excess of £800,000 per annum and one that faced a whole host of challenges.
By working extremely hard, often in excess of 100 hours a week each, we have managed to turn the Club into one that pays its debts on time, and that can also be very competitive on the field. It has also cost in excess of £1 million pounds between us, so I think its fair to say that neither of us are in it for financial gain!!
The biggest problem we have always faced is the facility we operate out of. We were invited to join the Stadium Trust some time ago, with the aim of delivering to the citizens of Wakefield, the Community Stadium they were promised five years ago, after a three week public enquiry, at substantial cost to the Wakefield taxpayers. Rodney Walker has been in charge of this Trust for the last seven years, and yet, not one single brick has been laid. It is also a fact, that NO ONE on the existing trust other than Walker knew that the Newcold building up at Newmarket didn’t contribute a single metre towards the trigger point of 60000m2. Why keep that information to yourself?
Now, in the last 24 hours, we find that Walker has formed a new trust, and is very close to delivering the new stadium, IF Wakefield Trinity commit to being anchor tenants in it. However, in his opinion, the existing Trust cannot deliver it, because Yorkcourt Properties and Walker cannot work with some members of the existing trust. To be very clear, Walker is talking about myself and Chris.
Now Walker also claims that for the new Stadium to go ahead, Wakefield Trinity would have to commit to being anchor tenants. How this will be achieved is anyone’s guess, as in one breath he says that he cannot work with us, and yet needs us to be anchor tenants.
From day one, we have being very dubious that a Stadium would ever be built. The Club was used as a trojan horse, so that 220 acres of green belt land could be lifted out of the green belt for private and personal gain!!
Therefore here is the pledge that we make today.
After another day full of meetings, and a lot of hot air, the Club needs a new facility for 2019.
If a binding agreement is put in place with the existing trust, Council, and the developer that sees a new fit for purpose 10000 capacity stadium operational by the start of 2019 season, which the Club operates and controls to maximise revenue streams, myself and Chris will immediately stand down from the existing Stadium Trust. This will ensure that Walker/Yorkcourt do not have to deal with us on any level, thus removing their one last obstacle to this Community Stadium being built and delivered. For the avoidance of any doubt, we do not wish to own outright the Community Stadium.
This must happen within the next month. If it did happen, then the Club would enter negotiations with the 88M property group to stay at Belle Vue for one last season subject to RFL approval. In our opinion the Developer at Newmarket would still be receiving a substantial gain at the end of all this.
We have heard throughout today that myself and Chris are the problem. We’ve just provided the solution!!