Castleford issue statement regarding club ownership, performances and abuse

Josh McAllister
Castleford Tigers Joe Westerman

Castleford Tigers have issued a statement regarding a range of topics following a disappointing season so far in Super League.

The side have only claimed two wins in 12 so far this year and sit just above the bottom of the table in 11th spot under head coach Andy Last.

In the statement, the club acknowledge their campaign so far and accept some forms of criticism. However, players and staff have received personal insults and threats, which the club, and in fact sport, do not accept. 

Castleford also confirm that they are in talks with two interested parties to potentially take the club forward. 

On club ownership, the statement said: “We are aware of recent speculation circulating about a potential takeover of the club. Ian Fulton and the board of directors have made it clear on numerous occasions that they are merely custodians of the club and for the last 10 years the club has had to be run as a business. 

“The board are proud that over that period, they have managed to run the club on a sound footing while also winning its first-ever League Leaders’ Shield and appearing in a Grand Final and a further two Challenge Cup finals.

“Over the past five years, we have been in discussions with various people/consortiums to either come in and invest or take over and run the club. On most occasions, they have been looking to finance the stadium and land to run the club which is not a model for success and sustainability. 

“We had one potential buyer in discussion just before the pandemic, but his interest understandably fell away when lockdown happened as during the pandemic two of his businesses suffered large losses and he was unable to follow up on the opportunity.

“Since coming out of the other end of the pandemic we have spoken to numerous people and we are now in the situation of having two different parties who are interested in taking the club forward. 

“When we have any further news, we will post an update. In the meantime, the current owners and board along with the club staff, coaches, and players will continue to work hard to turn our season around.”

Castleford Tigers on current form performances

Castleford’s last win came in April with a 16-4 win over fellow strugglers Wakefield at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle.

Their only other win came against Leeds, with Lee Radford departing the club earlier in March.

The statement continued on performances: “Understandably the feeling and mood amongst our fanbase is at a real low. 

“We know that it is a difficult and frustrating time for fans, however, while we are accepting of a lot of the criticism currently aimed at the club, we would ask people to refrain from sending personal insults and threats to players and members of the club’s staff,” the statement continued.

“The board and senior management at the club operate an open-door policy and are always available to discuss issues with supporters in person.

“As a group both on and off the field we are aware we are in a fight. Collectively and with the backing of our tremendous fanbase we firmly believe this is a fight we can win.

“With the changes the coaches and players are making and a couple of new additions to the squad, we believe that we will have a second half to the season that everyone can be proud of.”

The statement concluded with a stadium update. It read: “We are now just waiting for a date for the stadium development to go before the planning committee. 

“We would urge anyone who hasn’t yet supported the stadium redevelopment and Axiom site to please do so, the support of the Castleford fans and the wider Castleford community will be a major factor in us gaining planning permission.”

MEDIA WATCH: Wakefield have still got a long way to go to be Super League’s worst

FOLLOW: Keep up with all the latest on the Love Rugby League mobile app