Haven fans call for coach to be sacked

James Gordon

Fans of troubled Championship club Whitehaven have called for the club’s coach, Ged Stokes, to be sacked after a poor run of results.

Whitehaven find themselves 10th in the Championship with just 10 points from 16 games, and with the club rumoured to be suffering from a host of financial problems, relegation could be the least of their worries.

With debts believd to be more than £300k, administration is a worrying possibility for the club, and it could happen sooner rather than later to avoid a nine point penalty being carried on to next season.

Fan groups the Internet Support Group, WISC, Haven Support Group and the Vice Presidents club were all invited to meet Whitehaven chairman Dick Raaz at the Recre this evening, following on from a previous discussion in May, but unanimously declined the offer.

In a statement issued on behalf of all four fan groups, they said: “After a meeting of the four groups it was unanimously agreed that we should decline the invitation at this time as we can see no way forward for the club until the current coach is replaced.
“We feel that Ged Stokes has taken the club as far as he can with the team currently in a run of results that are the worst for almost thirty years. We feel this situation can no longer be allowed to continue and this is one of the few ways to voice our opinion and express the feelings of the vast majority of Whitehaven RL supporters. We have lost too many die hard fans through this situation and the only way to attract them back to the Recre and for the club to move forward would be with a change of coach.
“It is now time for the club to move on with a new coach and a new future.”

Former Workington boss Stokes took over from Paul Crarey in 2008 and enjoyed a honeymoon period in charge at the Recre, leading the Cumbrians to a fifth placed finish.

However, they missed out on the play-offs last time round and relegation looks likely in 2010, with only Keighley, who began the season with a nine point deduction, below Haven in the table.

Whitehaven won the National League 1 minor premiership in 2005, reached two Grand Finals in 2004 and 2005 and appeared in the Northern Rail Cup final in 2007.