Takeover sees ex-Leeds Rhinos, Warrington Wolves and Castleford boss Daryl Powell join Wakefield Trinity
The businessman and Trinity fan pledged to “give 100 per cent to restore the club to its glory days” as he confirmed a number of key appointments, including Daryl Powell as head-coach on a four year contract.
Steve Mills, who worked with Powell as head of analysis at Warrington Wolves, has joined Trinity as recruitment and salary cap manager and David Tucker is the club’s new general manager after previously holding a similar role at the AC Marriott Hotel in Manchester’s Northern Quarter.
Ellis revealed season ticket prices will be “significantly lower” than last term and new signings will be announced in the coming days as Powell begins building a squad for Trinity’s 2024 Betfred Championship campaign following relegation from Super League this year. He also insisted the club will invest in “top-notch player facilities”, as well as an “improved match-day experience and communication with supporters”.
Former chairman John Minards has stepped down and 2023 coach Mark Applegarth and his assistant Sean Long have both left the club. Ellis, who runs DIY Kitchens, based at South Kirkby, near Pontefract, said: ‘I’m absolutely delighted to get the deal over the line.
"I can’t wait to now get started with the task in hand of getting the club back into Super League and at the top end of the table challenging for trophies. It’s a real honour to be part of such a historic club and fulfils a personal ambition to be owner of the club I support.
"With 150 years of proud history with huge successes behind us, my promise to the supporters is I will give 100 per cent to restore the club to its glory days. I want next season to be successful on and off the field and have already got to work setting plans in motion to ensure a successful 2024 for the club.”
Powell joins Trinity three months after being sacked by Warrington. Of the ex-Leeds Rhinos, Featherstone Rovers and Castleford Tigers boss, Ellis said: “Having had many conversations with Daryl over the last few months, I can assure [fans] he is hungry for success and both my own and Daryl’s ambitions are aligned. I feel this is the perfect role for Daryl, with a big re-build and he will thrive in the challenge. I know we will see the best Daryl has to offer.”
From the end of next season, promotion will be decided by off-field grading as well as results on the pitch, as part of rugby league’s partnership with sports marketing giant IMG. Ellis insisted: “I believe with the additional investments made in the club, coupled with the skills I’ve learnt from running my online business for 20 years, I am best positioned to secure the highest possible IMG score for the club.
“A high score will enhance the club’s reputation, potentially attracting higher-calibre players, sponsorships, and partnerships. Over the coming months and years, we will create a team supporters across the City of Wakefield will be proud to come and see succeed week-in, week-out.”