Glover: Ground improvements vital for Wakefield Wildcats’ Super League licence

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WAKEFIELD Trinity Wildcats chairman Andrew Glover says ground improvements at the Rapid Solicitors Stadium will help the club keep its Super League licence.

Construction started on roofing to cover part of the west stand and the whole of the north stand on Monday and should be finished for Wakefield’s home game against Catalan Dragons on Sunday, March 25.

It’ll help the club meet promises set out in their successful application for a Super League licence between 2012-2014 and fend off the threat of having that revoked by the RFL.

“We had Nigel Wood [RFL chief executive] here yesterday [Tuesday] on a catch-up chat,” said Glover.

“He told me it’s a serious thing [revoking of the licence] and I told him we’d never seen it as anything but serious.

“We’ve not promised anything we can’t deliver.

“We’ve said that it’s our plan to have a 12,000 capacity stadium but we haven’t put a timeline on it and they’ve done a full inspection.

“Our salary cap of £1.3m we’ve achieved, we’ve proved it, we have to send all that information through to them. We’ve got 4,000 season tickets and we’ve said that we’ll have 5,000 within three years so we’re already a long way down the line with that so we’re compliant as much as possible.

He continued: “Officially we’re still 2,000 short of ticking a box because we’ve only got 10,000 covered and officially you need 12,000.

“But we’re covered in what we told the RFL we were going to cover in our Super League application, so as much as the licence is a revokable licence, as long as we do everything we’ve said we’ve no worries.”

The RFL will visit Wakefield on Saturday, March 3 for the first assessment of the club’s progress since having their new licence approved.

“The licence is revokable,” said Glover. There are four or five clubs that have all got to do what we’ve said we’re going to do [in the application] and we get reviewed now and again.

“Luckily all this [ground improvements] will be up so they can see. It won’t be finished, but they’ll see that we’re not just making stuff up.”

The target is very-much on moving to a new stadium at Newmarket by 2014 for Wakefield.

But Glover believes the improvements at the Cats’ current home should also be enough to secure an extended licence at the next application process if they’re still at their current ground.

He said: “If we’re still here and Newmarket either doesn’t get passed or hasn’t been built, with the improvements we’re making here I think we’ll still end up with a C Grade licence.

“As long as we do everything that we’ve said we’re going to do and they can see further plans for growth, we feel confident that we’ll be able to keep the licence.”

See this week’s Wakefield Express Sport to read this story in full.