Wakefield Wildcats have signed a new sponsor after being left with a six-figure hole in their budget when scrap metal firm Eric France ceased trading.
JKL Wakefield Ltd, trading as Eric France Metal Recycling, which sponsored the team shirts and East Stand it the club stadium, went into liquidation last week.
Liquidators said the firm had debts of £22m, of which £21m was unpaid VAT owed to HMRC.
The Wildcats said it was highly unlikely Ossett-based Eric France would fulfil its commitment as the club’s main sponsor.
Now Barnsley-based C&D Cleaning Services, which already had a partnership with the club and maintained the Rapid Solicitors Stadium, on Doncaster Road, has been unveiled as the new main sponsor.
Wildcats players will wear shirts bearing the company name for their home game against Salford City Reds tomorrow (Sunday).
The club said C&D Cleaning Services had agreed to invest a six-figure sum as the club’s main shirt sponsor for the remainder of this season and next.
Wildcats chief executive James Elston said: “It’s excellent news and fantastic to have C&D Cleaning Services on our shirts for the next two years.
“They’ve been a great company to work with in the opening months of our partnership and we’re delighted to be able to build on that with them now as main sponsor.
“People might be under the impression that because the deal has been done so quickly that we haven’t got full value for the sponsorship, but I assure them that’s not the case.
“C&D Cleaning Services saw this as a fantastic opportunity to work with us to increase their profile even further and have been prepared to put in the investment to get this and we know they will see returns on that.
“At a time when sponsorship is hard to come by, we’re really pleased to have signed up a new main sponsor so quickly and we’re hopeful that with some of the opportunities that still exist, that there will be more positive news to come in the near future.”
Last week, liquidators from KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers were appointed to Eric France, which also sponsored another rugby league club, Dewsbury Rams.
All 18 employees at Eric France were made redundant.
Liquidators said the company’s insolvency was due to “significant historic debts owed to HMRC”.
They now plan to sell the company’s premises and stock and share the proceeds with its creditors.