Whitehaven board express disappointment at attendances

Whitehaven’s board of directors have issued another rallying call for fans to get behind them following the breakdown of a planned takeover last month.

News of financial strife at the Cumbrian club resulted in a plea to raise £60,000 to help support a takeover led by Stuart Harvey, though he and his consortium eventually pulled out of a bid for the club.

The League 1 side enjoyed a run to the last 16 of the Challenge Cup and a 22-14 win over North Wales at the weekend has them in the play-off places.

A statement read: “The Board of Directors of Whitehaven RLFC would like to thank fans for their patience shown so far while the club works on a new business case to take the club forward.

“The board are hopeful that not only will the plans to take the club forward be laid out in the near future but details of new commercial income streams, potential sponsors and a change in how the board operate on an organisational basis which will assist in enabling the club to survive and prosper.

“We need to ensure that sustainability be at the heart of the club’s plans.

“The board feel it is imperative to engage with shareholders and fans prior to the next home game to try and ease the current apathy which is believed to have played a part in the poor attendances received during the past two games.

“To not break the 1000 mark, of home fans, against Bradford was disappointing given the general good feeling that was around the club at that time, however that was not nearly as disappointing as there being less than 600 of those fans return for another big game, this time against Keighley, another club who are suffering from financial difficulties at present.

“The board cannot stress the importance of fans attending games if they want a club in the town to continue.

“The last home game had less than 350 paying spectators which clearly would not support any club in this league with hopes of challenging for promotion, let alone a club which is already suffering financially. The (approximately) 250 that didn’t pay on the day, 160 of these were season ticket holders with the remainder being pre-paid sponsors lounge tickets and mandatory complimentary tickets as laid down by the RFL

“The effort of the fans in raising what they did during the early stages of the appeal was humbling and is to be commended however, some pledges are still outstanding, the club needs fans to continue this effort through the turnstiles.

“The club will continue over the next couple of weeks to try and increase this total through targeting businesses in the local area and further afield. Some headway has been made on this and the club will release all details once things are finalised.”

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