Castleford Tigers’ new RL stadium plans could be shelved

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Castleford Tigers may scrap plans to build a new 13,000-seater stadium and re-develop their existing Wheldon Road ground instead.

Tigers chief executive Steve Ferres made the shock revelation at a meeting he called at Castleford’s Civic Hall on Tuesday night to update fans on the club’s “precarious” financial position.

Castleford signed a deal last year with developers to sell and redevelop their Wheldon Road ground as a supermarket.

It had been planned that deal would then fund a new £12m stadium on land near the Xscape leisure complex at Glasshoughton.

The club has already won planning consent for the proposed scheme for a new ground.

A move to a new stadium was said to be key to the club retaining their Super League status.

Mr Ferres, who until recently worked as a club support officer for the Rugby Football League, says RFL regulations are being relaxed because of the country’s economic difficulties and admitted the club’s efforts to build a new stadium had stalled.

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He said: “The board of directors agree we need to look at alternative stadium options, including re-development of the existing Wheldon Road site.

“The RFL are mindful of the testing economic climate and how it is impacting on the game generally.

“As a result, licensing requirements are being relaxed to enable clubs to explore different routes to ensure they achieve Super League status.

“The redevelopment is, therefore, a realistic and much more cost effective option and, after the support we received for it from fans tonight, one which will be given serious consideration.”

Ferres, who is a former chief executive of Wakefield and succeeded Richard Wright at Castleford in July, told the meeting that the club urgently needed new investment and had targeted 5,000 season-ticket holders to ensure its survival.

He added: “We want fans to be a part of our future and we are keen to hear what they have to say. As a result of a fan’s recent suggestion, we have set up a new email, suggestions@castigers.com so I encourage those who have an idea for how we can improve the club to send them our way.”

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