Wakefield Wildcats: A brighter future if we stay up – Carter

Michael Carter
Michael Carter
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WAKEFIELD TRINITY Wildcats are one win away from a brighter future, according to chairman Michael Carter.

Wildcats’ First Utility Super League status will go on the line tomorrow when they play host to Bradford Bulls in the all-ticket million pound match.

The winners will claim the 12th and final place in the top-flight for 2016, with the losers playing in the Kingstone Press Championship next year.

Wildcats, who have been a Super League club since 1999, finished bottom of the table with just three wins in the regular rounds, but Carter is confident they can be more competitive next term, if they come out on top tomorrow.

“There’s a few elements, if we do stay up,” Carter said. “You get a bit more central funding next year, it’s not massive, I think it’s £25,000.

“We’ve done a new deal on the ground, which is saving a significant amount which will flow back into the first team and we are debt-free by the end of December, instead of £13,000 going out every month in terms of debt repayments.

“I am not going to promise we’ll spend to the salary cap, because that would be a massive jump for us, but I think with what we’ve got lined up to come into the squad next year if we survive, it will be a much-improved squad for next year and it’ll be closer to the salary cap spend.”

Carter admitted he has been preparing for the worst case scenario. He said: “We have got a Plan A and a Plan B in place.

“Hopefully we’ll only need to use Plan A, but if we do need Plan B we’ll implement it as soon as we can.

“That will be, we’ve got Championship money coming in so we’ve only got a certain amount of money we can spend on the first team.

“We will aim, as always, to break even, because that will make it sustainable forever.”

Carter revealed no decision has yet been made on whether Wildcats would stay full-time in the second tier.

He added: “There’s arguments for both.

“The new agreement we’ve got for the ground allows for both Super League and Championship levels of income, but there’s still quite a big overhead, so to remain full-time on what would be Championship central funding is a difficult task – unless a lot of your supporters buy into what you’re trying to do.

“A lot of it could depend on how season ticket sales go.

“If we can achieve the levels of income we got last year, albeit having dropped down a division, I think there’s every chance we could stay full-time.”

But Carter is determined not to let the pressure take its toll.

“It is massively important,” he said of tomorrow’s game. “But I am actually quite relaxed about it. That’s not to say we are taking anything lightly, but I think if I start worrying about what may or may not happen I’ll just drive myself into the ground, so I am trying to enjoy it.

“Sales are going well, we’re expecting a bumper crowd and we hope everybody comes down and enjoys the atmosphere. I’m hoping we sell the place out.”