Statement - From Club Part Owner
After Sunday's home challenge cup exit to Swinton Lions club part owner Peter Tiffin wanted to update all the fans on the ongoings at the club over the past 10 days.
There have been a lot of rumours online in regards to the club and Sunday’s result seemed to have restarted some people’s opinions of the clubs current standing, what would you like to add on this?
“The past ten days have been very difficult for everyone at the club and I would like to be honest and transparent with all of our supporters and followers. Last Monday we held a crisis board & staff meeting on not only the season ahead but the future of the club. It was an unanimous decision from all that nobody wanted to see the club finish after all the hard work from everyone at the club currently plus everyone who has gone but done so much to get the club to where it is in such a short space of time.”
“Even though everyone was fully on board to continue as a club and to progress with our plans set in place when we moved from amateur to professional 4 years ago it was going to be a massive task to get our challenge cup fixture to go ahead. With no head coach in place, the loss of both our assistant coaches a few days earlier, only 6 contracted players and our
irreplaceable team manager in hospital it was going to take everyone to work together to get everything needed to fulfil our challenge cup fixture.”
Some may say you have had plenty of time to prepare for this fixture and more than enough time to get your coaches in place, why did it take you all as a club to get everything organised 5 days before hand?
As part owner I take full responsibility of the situation we were in last week, each year we seem to lose our head coach and this year was no different, we should have appointed a head coach straight away to support the staff we had put in place but left it and left it, after our board and staff meeting we then wanted to invite all players past and present to our training facility in Bridgend to allow them all to speak up and feedback to us all on areas they wanted to see improving, from this meeting we went from 6 contracted players to 28. Following this we then employed a full time doctor, invited 4 of the head coaches that applied previously for an interview, 3 of the assistants who had been involved in the game in Wales plus other key areas within the club to support and guide the club in the right direction.”
With the drop in funding this season has that affected the club at all in anyway?
“It hasn’t been easy for any club to have their funding cut but to rely on one revenue of income is ludicrous, we as a club are financially stable with numerous sponsors & partners supporting the club year on year,we also have our own bar on site which runs seven days a week plus a bar in the ground. At our training ground in Bridgend, we have added a large size gym to make sure the boys have everything on site, our home ground of Stebonheath Park is one of the best in the league and we want to utilise this more for all the community and international sides in Wales by offering any event they wish to hold to be funded by the Raiders so they can make more money to support the development in Wales, we as a club want to see more internationals,grand finals & women’s super league fixtures in the West and Stebonheath Park is available at WRL’s peril.”
After yesterday’s result and such a long time before the league 1 season begins what are yours and the clubs plans for 2022 and beyond that.
“We now have 8 weeks before we begin our league season,that may seem a long time to some but it will soon be with us, we have today been in contact with every chairperson involved within the community game in Wales to invite all their staff and senior players to our sessions over the next fortnight. There are a lot of talented players in Wales and the breakdown within the Raiders & all other clubs again I will take full responsibility of this over the past couple of years, as I said in previous articles the relationship between Wales Rugby League, the clubs in Wales and Raiders is one of the main priorities this season. Also this week we are sitting down with all 4 coaches to see who fits in with how we as a club want to progress within the professional game. This process won’t happen overnight but rest assured we are going to work very hard to be far more competitive this year within our league and work with everyone to grow the the game in Wales.”
Do you have anything else you wish to add?
“Firstly I want to thank everyone who has worked so tirelessly to get yesterday’s game to go ahead and to make sure everything behind the scenes ran smoothly,regardless of the score there was over 300 in attendance, a kit supplied to support 7 new charities involved with the club and all in attendance, 7 new debutants,a squad average age of 22, positive feedback on our new match day announcer and lastly no injuries after our new medical team keeping all players very well looked after. The players regardless of the score kept going and deserve much more plaudits than they did especially with very little training and preparation to the game so please when you’re commenting on our social media platforms take in consideration of the hard work the players put in and deflect your annoyance towards myself. My final comments are to our loyal fans and supporters, I know there has been some negative comments recently but please be patient with us over the next couple of weeks as we regroup for a far more competitive league season. Each year we set out to improve both on and off the pitch and this year is no different, we have now done our talking and will go away and work on everything needed to become the club we set out to be”