New Castleford chief executive Steve Ferres has marked his first month in the job by warning that the club needs an overhaul.
Ferres, a former RFL consultant and CEO of Wakefield, has been conducting a review of the Tigers to understand what changes need to be implemented to achieve the club’s future aims.
Those aims to inevitably include the move to a new stadium, which is likely to be crucial in securing the club’s Super League future.
He said: “I’m afraid there is no way of sugar-coating the current situation. The club needs to change on a number of fronts and also requires significant investment in order to re-establish Castleford Tigers as a competitive force in Super League.
“We know we have the loyal fans out there but we also know that they are becoming increasingly disillusioned as a result of the recent poor performances.
“Fans must, however, be realistic – we are currently building a squad that will deliver competitive performances but without the necessary capital, we will continue to struggle to compete at the highest level.
“There are no quick fixes here but I want to implement a vision for the future which also puts investment in youth development and nurturing local talent at the centre of its ambitions – a community club that the Castleford community can be proud of.”
Ferres’ changes are likely to include a new membership system, which would include matchday admission, discounts on official kit, offers from sponsors and greater access to players, and wants to get 5000 fans signed up to the scheme for next season.
It is hoped that these changes will help Castleford spend up to the full salary cap in years to come, although they have already made good progress in recruiting for next season, signing Justin Carney, Michael Shenton, Lee Gilmour and Jake Webster in recent weeks.
Ferres has also urged fans to “keep the faith” with the new stadium project, which he describes as “very complex”.
He added: “Whilst I’m sure fans were hoping that more progress had been made, it is totally understandable given its complexity. Many people have put a lot of hard work in to the project so far and we intend to do our upmost to deliver what is an integral part of the club’s future. Rest assured as soon as we can communicate anything further we will do so.”
Castleford have played in all but two Super League campaigns since its inception in 1996, finishing fifth in consecutive seasons back in 1999 and 2000.
They were relegated in 2004 and 2006, and also finished bottom of the table in 2008, the first year after relegation was abolished.