Wakefield Wildcats fans in crisis meeting

Wakefield Wildcats fans are being urged to rally at a crisis meeting next week - after the cash-strapped club urged supporters to help save it from going bust.

All fans are being asked to attend a public meeting at the Belle Vue ground next Tuesday as a mandate is sought to form a trust for supporters, which could buy blocks of shares in the club.

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Last week Wildcats chairman Ted Richardson said the Super League club faced financial ruin by the end of this month unless 500 supporters each bought 1,000 of newly-released shares.

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Mr Richardson said the new shareholders would collectively own 50 per cent of the club.

Club chiefs say the cash crisis is due to delays with the planning application for the new 19m Newmarket Stadium at Stanley after the Government last month called the plans in for a public inquiry.

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Wildcats fan Phil Townsend, of Stadium Wakefield Action Group, said all fans groups at Wakefield have been in discussions about the formation of a trust for a number of months, but the current crisis has led to speedier action.

The meeting will be attended by a representative of Supporters Direct - a group formed over 10 years ago with government support, which aims to assist supporters who wish to become involved in having a say, or having control in their club.

Mr Townsend said: "The basis of the trust is simple – anyone can join, for an annual fee. The trust can also be a vehicle for the purchase of or receipt of shares within the club, and can also be permitted the proxy of any current or future shareholders voting rights, resulting in the opportunity to have a block of shares which can ensure that the supporters have a genuine, and possibly significant, say in the running of their club – if that is what the supporters want."

He added: "Clearly, much has yet to be decided as matters have dictated that this meeting is called sooner than anticipated. However, with the support from Supporters Direct, we are confident that we are well placed to put together a strong group to represent the supporters and be able to rise to the challenges that may face our beloved Wakefield Trinity."

The meeting will be held in the Cats Bar at Belle Vue from 7.30pm on Tuesday, January 18.

mark.lavery@ypn.co.uk

by Mark Lavery

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