Club won’t sell franchise, says boss of Trinity

Michael Carter says the club's franchise won't be sold.
Michael Carter says the club's franchise won't be sold.

Wakefield Trinity chairman, Michael Carter, says he is is not about to sell the club’s Super League franchise and effectively relegate them to the Championship.

He has been quick to react to reports suggesting the club would be willing to drop out of the big time to secure their long-term future.

But Carter did say that the club will be moving out of Belle Vue at the end of the season, and is more likely to temporarily relocate to Dewsbury Rams, rather than Featherstone Rovers who had offered the possibility of a groundshare.

He also added that talks of building a new stadium were still very much ongoing.

He said: “There is nothing out there to suggest that we would sell our franchise.

“It is something we spoke about for 10 minutes in a meeting with other Super League clubs in February, but that is it.

“There have been no further discussions since then so to suggest that in two or three weeks we would be selling our franchise is nonsensical.”

He added: “We want everyone to concentrate on the rugby and an exciting season ahead for us.

“The fight is still on to deliver Newmarket for the people of Wakefield.

“There have been a couple of positive meetings in the last week or so that have involved the council and we have explored ways in which we can help raise the funds for it.”

Reports suggest that up to £12 million needs to be found for the new stadium to become a reality.

Planning was granted in 2012 for a 12,000-capacity “community” stadium as part of a new business park off Newmarket Lane in Stanley.

And last month Sir Rodney Walker, chairman of the Wakefield and District Community Stadium Trust for the past seven years, stood down having failed to deliver the plan.

Carter says that with a new chairman of the trust the club is now working hard to kick-start the project.

Carter has admitted having reservations over the location of the proposed new stadium, but says Wakefield Trinity desperately needs a new ground.

He recently announced that the club would be leaving the Beaumont Legal Stadium at the end of the season because it will not meet a recently-introduced ‘minimum grounds standards’ policy going into next season.

Coun Denise Jeffery, Cabinet Member for Economic Growth and Skills said: “The city has strong roots in rugby league and we are very proud to be home to Wakefield Trinity. We will work with the club to try and help them ensure rugby league stays in Wakefield.”

Last week Featherstone Rovers said their offer was made for the ‘good of the game.’