Castleford Tigers investor offers Super League hope and promises major announcements

Aaron Bower

New Castleford Tigers board member and investor Martin Jepson has reiterated his hope that the club will retain their place in Super League under the IMG model in 2025 – and has promised supporters a glut of upcoming announcements about recruitment and retention for next year.

The Tigers are considered to be one of the clubs under threat by some when it comes to the IMG criteria, with Castleford in the mix alongside Wakefield and Toulouse for one of only a handful of open places in Super League in 2025.

But Jepson – who spoke to Love Rugby League at length last month about his plans for the club – insists he isn’t interested in external noise: he believes that the club will make the required improvements to secure a good enough score come the end of the season.

He said: “We know that on the field it’s been a difficult season. We can’t get away from that fact, but Craig (Lingard) and the team are working hard on the training pitch to make sure that we improve.

“I think the loan signings we brought in have helped solidify the backline, but we know we had a disastrous weekend against St Helens. It’s not good enough. We’ve got to be better, but we’re focused on a big match against Hull in a couple of weeks.

“I wanted to address one item that’s been out there about whether we’re going to be a Super League club next year. I’m not really interested in what other people think, it’s all about what we do.

“And we’re focusing on those ground improvement works at the moment. So you’ve seen the seats go in at the Princess Street stand, you’ll see the big screen arriving in a few weeks time. You’ll see other improvements happening over the course of the rest of the season.

“And that’s all geared towards making sure that our facilities are upgraded. It’s a better experience for you as a fan, and it meets those ranking points for IMG. So stay tuned. We’re focused, we believe we will be a Super League club next year, we need you to believe in it as well.”

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Jepson also urged all Castleford supporters to fill The Jungle for their huge showdown with Hull FC next weekend – and promised that in the run-up to that game, their squad situation for 2025 will become much clearer.

He said: “There’s also been talk about where are we with signings, and what’s happening. Well, we’re working hard to secure our squad for next year.

“And we will be spending more on the salary cap next year than we have done this year. So we want to bring a bit of seniority into the squad, but we also want to secure our best youngsters. We’re also securing the members of the squad that we want to retain who are off contract.

“For the Hull game, we really need to pack The Jungle. We’re going to have a lot of offers coming out over the next week because we want you there. We want to target a full ground against Hull – that’s the missing link where you the fans can help us as a club.

“If we can hit that magic 7,500 average attendance, that is the point at which we transfer our score upwards again in terms of IMG rankings and that’s where you can help so we’re doing our bit we’re going to we’re going to lend support you by putting offers out there to make it attractive to come up to come to the game.”

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