Reduced broadcast deal set to leave Wakefield Trinity £450,000 worse off

Wakefield Trinity are set to lose out on £450,000 next season with the reduction in Sky Sports’ broadcast deal and CEO Michael Carter admits the club will need to run with a skinnier squad next season.

Thursday, 30th September 2021, 12:21 pm
Picture by Allan McKenzie/ - 15/08/2021 - Rugby League - Betfred Super League Round 19 - Wakefield Trinity v Warrington Wolves - Beaumont Legal Stadium, Wakefield, England - Wakefield's owner Michael Carter congratulates JoeWesterman after their side's victory over Warrington.

Carter and the rest of the Wakefield board unanimously agreed last week to appoint Willie Poching as permanent coach, following a successful spell in interim charge.

He also revealed the financial impact the new Sky Sports TV deal would have on clubs like Wakefield and insists that Poching is aware of the difficulties that could arise on the recruitment front with less money coming in next year.

Poching will be looking to strengthen Wakefield’s squad over the autumn after turning their fortunes around in the final seven games of the season. One big hole he will need to fill is the one left by Joe Westerman, who is set to leave the club for Castleford Tigers.

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“It is going to be difficult with the TV deal being reduced. For a club like ours, that probably means the best part of £450,000 that won’t be coming across our front doorstep next year,” said Carter of the challenges posed when it comes to recruitment.

“And when you run a club like ours, it is well documented we run close to the bone in terms of costs. Stripping costs out is not a way we can go down.

“We have got to find revenue streams. Our season tickets have gone on sale and the message to the supporters is that you can bring a friend along and convince them to buy a season ticket.

“The sponsors have been brilliant over the last two years but they are struggling as well in the current climate. It is certainly not going to be easy. Willie understands that and he is under no illusions. We will provide as much as we can to make that squad as good as it can be.

“We will probably have to run a little bit skinnier than we have done over the last two or three years.

“That will include a few of our junior academy players coming into the first-team squad. They will have to sink or swim pretty quickly should injuries bite next year. We understand the difficulties we are faced with over the next 12 to 24 months.

“We will attack that challenge and give it everything we have got to produce the best squad for Willie and the club.”