Fans to take control of Hunslet

Hunslet could become the latest Championship side to come under fan ownership, after chairman Grahame Liles announced his intention to step down.

Liles and fellow shareholder Sean Cluderay have offered to gift their shares to the Hunslet Independent Supporters Trust (HIST), which would give HIST a majority shareholding in the club and control of day to day operations.

A statement read: “Grahame Liles has been a magnificent ambassador for this club for over 32 years and both the club and its fans owe him a huge debt of gratitude. The amount of respect that HIST and other fans personally have for him is immeasurable. He has been ably supported by Sean and indeed his wife Margaret on a volunteer basis and together they have seen the Club through many highs and lows.

“To keep a Rugby League Club as a going concern for that amount of time has been no mean feat.

“For Grahame and Sean to offer to gift their shares in this manner is a gesture of significant magnitude and reflects much credit on their individual integrity in these times of heavy financial constraints. It’s also reassuring that they will still be around to offer a guiding hand should we need it.

“We will be proposing to our members very strongly that we should grasp this exciting opportunity. It’s not often that fans get a chance to own their Club. In the current financial plight things will not be easy but we remain confident that we have the skill sets needed to succeed within our fan base and committed to putting the Club firmly at the heart of the local community protecting the long term future of Hunslet RL.”

Championship 1 side Rochdale are already under fan ownership, assisted by the Supporters Direct organisation which is also involved with a number of football clubs.

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