Whitehaven clarify financial situation after several players not paid February wages

Aaron Bower
The Ortus REC Whitehaven Alamy

The Ortus REC, home of Whitehaven Rugby League club - Alamy

Championship club Whitehaven have moved to clarify their financial position after admitting seven of their squad are still owed their February wages: but insist they are in a strong position to start the season.

Haven issued a statement on Wednesday evening confirming that due to creditors owing a significant sum of money, they have been unable to pay their entire first-team squad in full. However, the club said they have clarified the situation with those players before outlining the difficulty of running a club in the current financial climate within the sport.

They said only £8,000 has been generated by actual rugby income this year, insisting players will be paid when the club’s creditors clear their debt.

“The club are owed money far in excess of the money we owe to seven players for their February contract and we have spoken to them collectively about the reason for this cash flow problem,” they said.

“They will be paid as and when our creditors clear their invoices. All other monies ie fuel expense, community pay, game money and January’s contracts have been paid in full. This has all been achieved with only £8k generated by rugby.

NOW READ: Leeds Rhinos and every Women’s Super League club’s approach to paying players

“The rest has been generated from running the club as a business on other revenue streams by dedicated volunteers and Directors. The club costs thousands to run even when we are not playing rugby and we have met all these financial obligations. On top of the above we have managed to get the well-documented PAYE arrears from 2021-2023 season down from £59k June 2023 to £8k this week.

“The bulk of this payment has been closed season from newly generated revenue streams including assistance from away days and the VPs. We are grateful for their assistance.”

Haven continued: “We have always promoted an open door policy and invited you to call for a chat anytime you feel the need. In return I would ask everyone who loves the club to think about the feelings of our sponsors and the hard working volunteers. Some have shown how vulnerable they are and shed tears over recent posts regarding their efforts.”

The Championship club set up a fundraiser last year to help cash-flow issues, but have stressed that there is no repeat this time around, and that they are on a sound financial footing once the monies they are owed is paid in full.

“This club is in a good position to start the season and it’s only through creditors not paying that has us in this position. If you feel after reading this, that we are not being truthful then contact us direct.”