First and most important of all, I hope you are all well and staying safe.

It is over a year now since the start of lockdown and thought it would be an opportune time to reflect on what has happened at the Club and what plans we have for the future.

Off The Field

  • The Board has increased in quantity and strengthened with different skillsets added to it.
  • The Panthers re-brand has been a huge success.
  • New merchandise range and supplier introduced, culminating in record year on year shop sales.
  • Major piece of financial re-alignment of the Club to navigate through the lockdown and cement firm financial foundations to go forward.
  • Worked closely with the RFL to navigate and embrace the Covid 19 management regulations to the point of becoming a Beacon Club in this area within the Championship.
  • Increased year on year season ticket sales.
  • Fantastic ongoing support from sponsors and fans alike.
  • Huge increase in Media/Marketing presence and engagement numbers.
  • Start-up of the Panther Future Fund (PF2) initiative to build a player recruitment, ringfenced, fund for the future.
  • Strategy plan for the Club completed and roadmap created to build for the future over the next few years.
  • Commercial targets met for the current financial year.
  • Some excellent negotiating work done for new player recruitment.
  • Very close work and support from Calderdale Council.
  • Calderdale College and Halifax Panthers awarded the RFL Dual Academy Award for the work done on providing Rugby and a Trade studying opportunity to students.
  • Recruitment of a new Rugby Development Officer based at the College; and the announcement of a new Community Engagement Officer looming.
  • Closer work with the Supporters Trust and Cashfax in working together to support each other.
  • Shared strategy plan with the Foundation to support their work in the Community.

On The Field

  • Major turnover in playing personnel.
  • Long term injury rehabilitation of two players.
  • Restrictive and fewer trainings sessions year on year due to Covid regulations, supported by the Coaching staff, Players, the Club’s Covid Team, and Calderdale College.
  • One opposed training session; one competitive trial game; one Challenge Cup game and one League game.
  • Several new players making their debuts for the Club.
  • Games continue to be played behind closed doors.
  • Clearly, as a Rugby Club, the focus will now switch to matters on the field and I hope we will all get behind Simon and the players, win, lose or draw. The Championship this season is probably going to be the toughest one for some time, with many Clubs capable of beating each other.

The Future

  • Finish as high as we possibly can this season, with a top 6 place our focus.
  • Prepare for the possible decrease in Sky TV/SL funding to all Championship and L1 Clubs in 2022.
  • Increase the Panthers Brand in the Community across the whole of Calderdale and beyond.
  • Attract a new audience to the Club, whilst at the same time, maintaining the existing fan base.
  • Improve the match day experience for all who attend the games (when crowds are eventually allowed back in!)
  • Build the right foundations both on and off the field for Halifax Panthers to be back where they should be- competing in the elite division and re-engaged with the Calderdale Community and beyond.

I would respectfully point out that there are no quick fixes here. This journey will be a longer one than we would all like, with many twists and turns along the way.

There is a huge amount of work to be done by us all, in varying degrees. No matter how large or small that contribution is, it is and will be appreciated by the Board and the Club.

I sincerely hope this gives you an overview insight into where the Club is, where it wants to be and how intends to get there.

Yours in Rugby,

Dave Grayson



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