Super League clubs must change, says Ferres

Castleford CEO Steve Ferres says half of the current Super League clubs need to adjust their business structures to avoid being left behind by the top clubs.

The future of Super League beyond 2015 remains unclear, with several working groups now in place to determine the policy and direction of the league beyond the current period of licensing.

Ferres said: “It is vitally important that key issues regarding competition structure and licensing are addressed if Super League is going to thrive. The working groups set up by the RFL hand some control to the clubs so that we, who are on the front line, can use our first hand experience to inform what changes need to be made.

“Nevertheless, each club has to take ultimate responsibility and ensure it is adopting a viable Super League model. Currently, I would say that about half of the clubs in the competition need to adjust their business structures in order to compete with the top half of the league.”

Although the club has this week announced that their Wheldon Road home will be known as the Wish Communications Stadium in 2013, Ferres also warned that a new stadium, or at least considerable improvements to their current home, are necessary to safeguard the club’s future.

He added: “Dated stadiums like ours do not have sufficient facilities to generate enough income. We continue to liaise with the appropriate parties in order to try and progress the development of a new stadium. 

“However, if we are not able to fulfil this ambition, Wheldon Road would need to be sufficiently transformed in to a venue that creates multiple income streams through top-class facilities such as flexible event spaces and conference facilities.”

Six teams averaged crowds of more than 10,000 in 2012 – Bradford, Hull, Leeds, St Helens, Warrington and Wigan.

Those teams made up five of the top six in Super League last season, while four clubs, including Castleford, averaged crowds of less than 7000.

Those four clubs finished in the bottom four positions in the league.

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