At the time of writing, there are approximately three weeks to the start of the league season and six weeks to the first league home game. With that in mind, it’s an appropriate time to give you an update on where the Club is at and where it wants to be going forward.

As we all know, these are challenging times for us all and the Club has certainly had its fair share of challenges throughout the close season. Your financial support, no matter how large or small, during that time cannot be underestimated and it is, has been, and will be going forward, very much appreciated. Thank you.

To manage these challenges, there has been a complete root and branch overall of the way the Club runs, and an improvement plan put in place to manage our way onwards and upwards. Not all these changes will be visible but over time, hopefully you will see the direction of travel for the short, medium, and long term that the Board are taking the Club.

Building a sustainable Club that is successful both and off the field is the key strategic vision.

Key close season highlights include:
• Appointment of, last season’s L1 Coach of the Year, Liam Finn as the Panthers Head Coach for the Men’s 1st Team.
• Retain the majority of very much sought after key players from last season’s squad and add proven Super League and Championship new signings. Secure the signing of ex-England International, NRL/ Super League player and local rugby talent in Gareth Widdop
• Appointment of Damian Clayton MBE, RFL Roll of Honour, as CEO at the Club.
• Brandon Greenwood & Amy Hardcastle appointed as the new Coaches for the Panthers Women’s team.
• The LDRL team formed and playing its first ever game under the Panther banner.
• Created a brand-new Panthers Talent Pathway for U15’s & 16-year-old Boys (initially)
• The male and female Panthers Academy teams going from strength to strength at Calderdale College.
• Increase the Panthers Wheelchair Team participant numbers to two teams by adding a new Panthers Development Team.
• Having gained Charitable Status, the Halifax Panthers Foundation has now successfully launched and is now building on the initiatives of the CIC to make a positive difference to the Calderdale community.
• One of only ten Clubs in the RFL Professional League structure to become founder members of the RFL Inclusivity and Diversity programme.
• Closer connect with our partners at Calderdale College providing greater benefits both ways.
• Further outreach to our Community Clubs both via our Foundation and on the field with several Siddal trialists in the 1st team Men’s pre-season games
• Introduce new Commercial sponsors into the Club whilst at the same time retain existing ones.
• Introduce new Commercial opportunities including a Membership scheme for individuals, Patron Platinum and Gold schemes for businesses, sponsorship opportunities for all on our new digital screen.
• Onboard Orox as our new kit supplier whilst at the same time having a complete revamp of the shop.
• Start strategic work on the IMG re-imagining framework and planning for changes to come as a result.
• Opened initial discussions with FCHT and CMBC over possible acquisition of the Shay Stadium.

I trust you can see that there has been an awful lot of work putting new foundations into the Club’s structure both on and off the field over the close season and of course, there will be more to come.

One of the initiatives I mentioned previously was about getting ‘out and about’ in the Community so the Panther Brand could be marketed across Halifax and the surrounding areas. At the same time all associated with the Club could connect with previous, existing, and potentially new fans.

This will be a fantastic opportunity for all associated with the Club to get together. Have your say in the Q&A part of the evening. Meet the decision makers in the Club and of course hopefully rub shoulders with the players and coaches as we visit your area.

With that in mind, I would be grateful if you would indicate if this would be of interest. Likewise, if any local Pubs or Clubs would be interested in hosting such an event?

Feel free to leave something on the Club’s social media channels or contact me direct via my Club e-mail address: davegrayson@halifaxpanthers.co.uk

These are crucial times for the future of Rugby League as a whole-likewise for your Club. It is imperative we continue to build on our 150 Year history by building a sustainable Club for the future.

Thanks for your continued support.

Dave Grayson
Halifax Panthers


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