WAKEFIELD FC manager Paul Lines has vowed that the club will continue in 2014-15 – despite withdrawing from the Evo-Stik League at the end of this season due to ground issues.
The troubled Bears, who lie second-from-bottom in First Division North, announced plans to quit the league on Monday with rent issues being the main reason for their decision.
Wakefield currently play at the Rapid Solicitors Stadium – home of Wakefield Wildcats RLFC – but a significant hike in yearly five-figure rent for use of the ground next season has prompted their decision to leave.
The Bears have a contingency plan in place to potentially move to Nostell MW’s Welfare Ground in Crofton but, despite it having a covered area, clubhouse and car parking, the cost of converting it into a Grade D class ground to fulfil Evo-Stik criteria is too prohibitive.
Wakefield, who have endured a difficult battle to make ends meet and gain support of the city’s sporting public over several years, are likely to drop down in the NCEL League in an attempt to build the club up again, but are determined to battle on.
Manager Paul Lines said: “The club itself is still going to run. We have had an option to go to Nostell and there might be an option to go somewhere else, although it is early days.
“But we have got Nostell and if we go down to the Northern Counties, we go there. But there’s a lot of things to be sorted.
“I have spoken to the players and everyone is still positive and say there are going to stay, so there’s no reason why we can’t have an assault on the league next season, to be honest.
“It might be a case of taking one step back to go two forward. Nostell have decent facilities, but in the Evo-Stik League, they are talking about teams having two or three covered sides with seats. The game is in decline as it is; they need to reduce that otherwise more teams will drop out of the league.”
Lines is the first to admit that the relationship between the Bears and Wildcats has not been particularly easy during their time at Belle Vue and they will leave with a sense of feeling more than a little unwanted.
Lines added: “At the end of the day, I thought Wakefield Wildcats would want a football team in and around their set-up as it’s a community thing.
“I think they are being a bit narrow-minded because we would have more money coming into the club when we have got the BTec (sports courses) set up. With that, I could have had a decent budget there next season.”
Elsewhere tomorrow, play-off hopefuls Farsley face another big clash, at rivals Lancaster.
Ossett Albion host Burscough and in the Premier, relegation-threatened Frickley visit Grantham. Whitby go to Marine.
In the First Division South, Scarborough host Market Drayton and Goole visit Loughborough.