Featherstone Rovers are to step up their bid for a place in Super League after announcing “substantial investment” in the Championship club.
On Monday Rovers parted company with coach John Bastian just 12 matches into the season after suffering back-to-back defeats by Leigh Centurions.
Today Rovers revealed anonymous investors will join the club with immediate effect and plough “millions” into the club over the next five years.
The club’s majority shareholder Feisal Nahaboo said: “Rightfully or wrongfully at the start of the season the club had made the decision to strike at the end of the season to prepare a Super League strength squad to compete next season.
“Following back to back defeats to Leigh Centurions we’ve realised we are no longer the dominant force outside Super League so the club has made the decision to raise the standards for all Championship clubs with imminent investment both on and off the field.
“The club will immediately show its intention by appointing leading coaching staff and will then follow-up by announcing new squad members.
“The club will not be selling its leading players and key squad members will be offered two to three year contract extensions. The club will announce those deals ‘in one go’ over the next few weeks. During the transition the club will have a strict policy of no press coverage for four weeks and we ask all press to respect this decision. Unlike some, this club will not be advertising its plan during execution.
“There are no egos at Featherstone Rovers, just pure grit and determination to succeed. In addition, we ask all leading agents to come forward with players available who have substantial ambition. We ask our fans to allow club officials to do their work and embrace the changes and not to question their judgements but to live the dream.
“We would like to take this opportunity to thank the RFL and SKY with regards to their new rules allowing clubs like Featherstone Rovers to invest and play for Super League status. It seems we won the league four years on a trot in vain, but we will take this experience, wisdom and knowledge to compete at the highest level possible.
“The board has been told that it must challenge for top four Super League position within the next few years. We would like to thank Mark Campbell for his immense work in building the club to a level which has attracted investors to come in and take the club to the next level. His work ethic and love for the club is exemplary and he will play an important role in the club whilst new investors will come in. The club has been told it must finish in the top two this year and compete for the Grand Final at any cost.
“We would finally like to thank the entire squad. They have been the best group outside Super League. Leigh may have taken the advantage but they have won nothing as of yet. Having said that we congratulate them in their own ambition. It is exciting times ahead and we are delighted to now have a real say in this sport.”