Leigh battling on

LEIGH CENTURIONS are battling for survival despite their most successful season since 2004.

But they are in there fighting and hoping they can give the fans better news about the club’s future as each day progresses.

Last night (Wednesday) the Club’s Acting Chairman, Keith Freer and Chief Executive Officer Trevor Barton MBE were to meet with the fans at a Fans Forum, when they were set to outline the latest position and any potential package that may be in the offing to assist in taking the club forward.

“It’s a situation that changes by the minute, the hour and the day,” said Barton. “But we are working our socks off to get this right and save the club.

“It has been and still is a tough time. But we are still here and putting plans in place to ensure we are not only here next season but for many years to come.”

At present the club is looking at ways to get the money together to pay the players whilst still seeking to entice potential new investors into the fold.

It’s a situation that is far from satisfactory as the club’s very existence is once again under threat after another devastating two weeks.

No sooner had the fans suffered the set-back of seeing their team fail to reach the Co-operative Championship Grand Final than they were being rocked on their heels by a statement from Leigh Centurions acting chairman Keith Freer.

He said: “The loss to Sheffield has resulted in a serious cash flow issue which the directors are attempting to resolve.

“There have been intensive talks internally and we have been in deep negotiation with the Rugby Football League, the local authority, LSVco, sponsors, the Corporate Club and LISA.

“We are assessing urgently what monies are available in the short and medium term to meet all liabilities.

“At the same time, we are looking forward to what is achievable next season. There is a way forward but this will require some very hard decisions to avoid the club going into liquidation.

“The current liabilities are not that great and with the assistance of a few we will be able to go forward into next season with a sound financial footing provided everyone rallies behind the club. The alternative is we cease to trade and no future for Leigh.

“This prospect is not acceptable and I know that the supporters of Leigh will expect us to explore every avenue to protect the club.”

“Phil Coffey and I are utterly committed to get to the next season and we feel that with patience and understanding, that is achievable.

“We will be short listing the candidates for the head coach and with the assistance of Ian Millward we will have open discussions with players to secure them for next season.”

Mr Barton added: “I have seen at close quarters what the board is trying to achieve and they are working to resolve the problem.

“If we can get through to the next season intact, we have some very exciting initiatives for our club and although the financial situation is at times dispiriting, I am not dismayed by it and continue to work hard at the new model which will be self sustaining and not dependant on a white knight.

“After the game last week I made some comments which may have caused some fans to be dismayed but I was merely expressing my disappointment after a sensational season with only one loss in the League.

“So I would ask that you keep the faith get behind the club be it the lottery, LISA, the new members club, simply buying season tickets we need you more now than ever before and without your support the future will be bleak. I would ask everyone to celebrate the wonderful performance this season and attend the celebration dinner tomorrow (October 7) at which we will honour the players and thank Arthur Thomas and his continued support for Leigh. Let’s make this a great evening and move forward into next season.”