After discussions with the RFL, following the Club's relegation at the weekend, Castleford Tigers has accepted that there will be no reprieve on the basis of Super League expanding to 13 or 14 teams and have agreed to the RFL's request to accept the current process.
The Tigers would like to thank the many Super League clubs that have offered to support the Club's request for a review of the current rules of promotion and relegation. In addition, the Club thanks those clubs that have given their commitment to allow the Tigers to continue to progress the development of the Club's leading junior players. The Club is appreciative of the wide-reaching and genuine support received and would like to believe that such support is a reflection of the respect for the Tigers from within the Game and the concerns surrounding the current promotion and relegation rules.
Everyone acknowledged that the challenge facing the promoted club is incredibly tough. The Club believes that this season it has proved this challenge to be too tough. No other sport lays down such an insurmountable challenge.
Only 3 of last year's National League 1 Grand Final winning team, Andrew Henderson, Michael Platt and Michael Shenton, were in the Tigers' starting line-up against Wakefield. Only 10 of the 17 players selected at Wakefield made it to the Club's pre-season camp in Tenerife, 4 weeks before the Club's opening game against Hull. This limited preparation was the unsatisfactory and unfair foundation for the Tigers entering the most competitive Super League ever. A competition in which one team had exemption from relegation despite having 12 months longer than the Tigers to prepare – although the Tigers' would like to go on record as fully supporting the 'advantages' offered to the Catalan Dragons.
The dice are impossibly stacked. The Tigers had, and continue to maintain, a solid financial base. The Club averaged well over 5,000 per game in the National League and attracted the 7th highest average in Super League in 2006. Even with this degree of stability (shaken to its core by a season in National League), the commercial platform of our fan base, an excellent coach and the likes of Nutley, Manu, McGoldrick and Sculthorpe the Club failed. 19 points, but failure. In short, the Club believes that the Game's promotion and relegation rules are flawed, a view clearly held by the Game at large as evidenced by the introduction of the franchise system in 2009.
In conclusion, the Tigers would like to thank, in particular, those Super League clubs that were prepared to accept reduced revenue distributions for the greater good of the Game and also thanks the wider rugby league community for their overwhelming support in fighting for a change in the rules. The Tigers thanks its coach and its playing squad for the marvellous efforts of 2006. Most of all, the Tigers thanks the fans; our Super League journey has been temporarily suspended. We will be back.