Derek Beaumont has to be one of the most colourful characters in rugby league.
Known for his vociferous opinion but heart of gold, the Leigh Centurions owner has been owner of the club for almost a decade.
In that time, he has overseen two Super League promotions and two relegations back to the Championship, but he is dedicated to making it happen a third time – and this time for good.
“At the end of the day I’m a passionate fan who is fortunate enough to improve the club by using my money,” Beaumont told Serious About Rugby League.
“I’m sure many people would do the same if they were in this position.
“I’ve got the club in Super League three times so it’s not about that, it’s about being sustainable in Super League.
“Where do clubs keep finding these people from? If they don’t find people like that they end up like, no disrespect, a Swinton or Rochdale or Oldham who have been big in the past.
“What I want to do is make sure I achieve something that doesn’t end up like that in future years.
“I want a club that is sustainable in its own right as a Super League club with a good facility with a decent fanbase.
“I want to tap into local talent and the amateur clubs and produce our own players, that comes after the sustainability in Super League.”
For now, though, the lack of a quota for overseas players in the Championship means that Beaumont has been able to attract considerable talent such as Caleb Aekins, Tom Amone, John Asiata, Blake Ferguson and Edwin Ipape
But, it’s the lateness of recruitment that Beaumont feels is the sticking point for any newly-promoted side.
“The season just gone, you’ve got 12 clubs, 11 clubs were given £1.9 million and told to go the supermarket where all the players go whilst the 12th club was kept outside and told to go in when there are no players left.
“We had a go, but something has to be different – if all we do is put a team together that can win the Championship but not compete in Super League, then you’ve then got to make massive changes as you’re just going to yo-yo.
“There’s always someone like Toronto, Toulouse and this time it’s Fev who spend a lot to get there.
“I’ve got to put a significant amount of money this year – and I will do.
“It’s the biggest part of the game and each time we have got in Super League the reason we haven’t been successful is because we’ve been far too late to recruit.”