Keighley players and staff haven’t been paid in months, reveals Ritchie Hawkyard

Ex-Keighley star Ritchie Hawkyard claims the players and staff haven’t been paid by the Cougars for nearly three months and have been made false promises.

The Cougars appear to be in a financial rut, with players, staff and outside employees awaiting payment of wages dating back nearly three months.

Keighley coach Craig Lingard has revealed that he will not continue in his role until the players have been paid. Steve Gill is also set to step down from his general manager role at the club.

Simon Harrison and Neil Cullen resigned as directors last month, while Garry Schofield also left his position as club ambassador.

“Players and staff have not been paid for nearly three months now,” Hawkyard, who has now moved to Oldham, told loverugbyleague.com.

“They keep on lying to us and giving us false promises. Two weeks ago, they sent us all cheques but they all bounced. They banging our heads against the wall now and we don’t know who to go to because we’ve tried places already. They’ve also not paid anyone’s taxes all year but have been taking it off us.

“None of the players or staff have been paid. They’ve not even paid some of the money. Most of the players have left the club now and there’s only two or three who have stayed because they signed contracts halfway through last season, but they are looking for clubs now as well.

“There is still no word on when we will be paid. We are getting messages riddled with sarcasm and being told ‘it will be in, when it’s in’. How long can this continue until the governing body will add weight to our fight?

“Rugby money for some is a large proportion – if not their only income. This means that they now are in fear of spiralling into debt. All we are wanting is the money we have rightfully earned. Nothing more, nothing less.”

Love Rugby League has contacted the Keighley club for comment but they are yet to issue an official reply.

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