As we approach the Christmas period and the end of the year (where has it gone?), it is an opportune time to communicate what is happening and has happened at the Club as of late. Some of you will be aware that the Board has changed throughout the year with Steve Lambert, Richard Durgan and Craig Wright stepping down as Directors.
However, Steve continues to lead the Commercial side of the Club and Richard continues to lead on the Rugby side (working with Liam Finn) as well as continuing to be a financial investor in the Club. Craig has left to further his business commitments and we wish him well and thank him for his support during his time with us.
We have recently added Damian Clayton MBE to the Board as C.E.O. and he is already making a positive difference to how the Club is run internally-with more improvements to come. Our quest is to continue to strengthen the Board which, when we do, will be communicated at the appropriate time. Rest assured, the desire and drive of the Board to move the Club forward both on and off the field remains our number 1 priority.
Our new Head Coach, Liam Finn, and his coaching team have settled in well and the players have responded well to his ways of working. The weekend away at the elite training camp at Loughborough in November was well received by the players and coaching staff. The strength and conditioning team are working hard with the team in readiness for the start of the new season.
Liam is excited by the quality of the squad he is working with. He has, of course, already added some of his own new signings to strengthen the squad even further. The Dual Registration link with Leeds Rhinos will provide further quality when required and we will continue to scour the market for better quality players to supplement the squad, when appropriate.
You may have seen the fixture list by now and noticed how the changes to 2024 and a later start to the Championship season have been managed. We start the Championship league season later than normal (mid-March) and our first home league game is not until April 7th.
We will have to wait and see how we progress in the 1895 competition, after the away games in the group stage, and the draw for the Challenge Cup to see if we get any home games in February and March. At the time of writing we have, worst case scenario, another four months before we kick a ball in anger at home.
That could put extra pressure on the Clubs income streams as we continue to trade without gameday revenue income during that period.
To risk mitigate this challenge, the Board and Staff are/will be working hard on raising income in other ways throughout this period. If ever there was a time for us all to come together and positively support the Club, as one, it will be more so during this period.
Current initiatives already available-where the money goes directly to the Club-are Season Tickets, the 150 Years Anniversary Heritage Shirt, the 150 Years Anniversary Book, the 150 Years Legends Card Sets and Squadbuilder.
There will be the online launch of the new 2024 Season merchandise and replica home shirt this Friday 8th December followed up by the newly refitted shop opening next week. The replica away shirt will also be launched in January.
Also coming soon are announcements around our revamped matchday dining packages for 2024; 150th Year Anniversary Dinner; Documentary about the 1895 Cup victory; Sporting Dinner; Meet the players and Coaching staff Evening event; plus much more.
No matter how large or small your contribution to any of these initiatives it will directly help the Club during this period.
Work has also started on the IMG scoring we received. The RFL were invited to the Club recently to go through our score and for us to dissect and understand what we need to do better to improve this score. The bigger picture here is to build a sustainable Club for the future. We have plenty of work to do here -as do many other Clubs!
That’s where we are at currently and all that remains is to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and thank you for your continued support of this Great Club.