New Castleford Tigers director details reasons behind immediate seven-figure investment as club look to bolster IMG grading

Ben Olawumi
The Jungle, Castleford Tigers

A general view of The Jungle, home of Castleford Tigers, during a Super League game in 2023 - Alamy

New Castleford Tigers director Martin Jepson says he ‘would regret’ not taking the chance to ‘help the club along the journey’, and that’s why he has opted to immediately invest a seven-figure sum.

Cas confirmed his appointment to the Board of Directors at the Jungle yesterday, taking a 32% shareholder stake after months of negotiations behind the scenes which have involved both financial and legal teams.

Jepson’s company – Ergo Real Estate – were already a sponsor of the Tigers. Having concluded the deal to increase his involvement, the businessman becomes a Director, a Shareholder and what the Fords describe as a ‘significant investor’.

The businessman’s investment hit Cas’ bank account in time for it to be considered as part of the financial side where IMG are concerned when they consider gradings ahead of 2025.

Having seen their appeal against their initial grading rejected by the RFL earlier this week, the Tigers remain at risk of relegation according to the current IMG rankings, though this investment could go some way to ensuring that isn’t the case by the end of the upcoming campaign.

New Castleford Tigers director Martin Jepson details reasons behind immediate seven-figure sum investment as club try to bolster IMG grading

Investing a seven-figure sum with immediate effect, Jepson told Cas’ club website: “I’m delighted to finally conclude everything.

“I’ve been talking to the directors for a while, so it’s nice to get it out in the open. I’ve followed this club all my life and I’m just so pleased I can do something for the club, and the town of Castleford.

“I grew up in the area, just a few miles from the ground in Garforth, and I’m a lifelong Cas fan, but haven’t lived here for 40 years.

“That being said, I make the trip here regularly for matches. I’m fortunate that I am able and in a position to invest and I think this is a real pivotal moment for the sport, and the club in particular.

“I thought long and hard about it. I’ve been a sponsor for a few years, I got more and more wedded to the club, and started coming back to more matches than I was before.

“I just felt that the club needed some investment, the town needs the club to be in Super League, and I would regret it if I didn’t take the chance to help the club along the journey.”

Jepson praises fellow directors having invested seven-figure sum with immediate effect

Castleford chairman Ian Fulton and Janet Fulton each hold a 32% stake in the club now, with Jepson owning a stake amounting to the same percentage.

Managing Director Mark Grattan also works alongside that trio, and Jepson had praise for all three of his new colleagues: “I wouldn’t have come on board if I didn’t feel I could work with both Ian [Fulton] and Mark [Grattan]. This is very much a partnership and they, like myself, are very passionate about the club.

“I’m really impressed with Mark’s knowledge and when we came up and went through the workings of the club, it was very clear that he has a deep understanding of how Castleford Tigers runs and also the intricate workings of the sport and all the associated processes and procedures.

“Ian has a long-standing loyalty to the club, along with his family. I’m really looking forward to working with them both, and I don’t think I would have done this deal, if I thought we weren’t all like-minded.”

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