Playing against the likes of Leeds Rhinos, Wigan Warriors, Warrington Wolves and of course the Super League and World Champions St Helens week in and week out is the pinnacle of British rugby league and is something Featherstone Rovers have chased for decades.
Owner Mark Campbell has worked incredibly hard to achieve that dream and the club feels as though it is on the edge of achieving it in 2023 thanks to the investment and effort of Campbell.
But Campbell has been wrapped up in controversy now after reports claimed he had been arrested and that has been confirmed by the club.
The club has also confirmed that Campbell has denied the allegation.
They made the following statement confirming that the allegation had been denied by their owner:
“Featherstone Rovers can confirm that its chairman Mark Campbell has been arrested in connection with an allegation which is denied. He has been granted bail pending a future court appearance. The club have been advised to make no further comment at this time.”
Campbell’s ambition for the club was recently underlined by the decision to part company with Sean Long which he explained in an interview with the club’s social media:
“It’s always sad, George, parting with a coach because any coach and chairman, you’ve got to have such a tight bond and you work so closely with them. So it was sad but it had to be done. I’ve no doubt it was the right decision.
“I did know from the outset that obviously Sean hadn’t been a head coach and he would struggle in some areas. I think his choice of assistant didn’t help him.
“I tried to persuade him to go for somebody with more experience, who had been a head coach who could help him with structure, organisation, planning ahead, utilising all his staff but Sean wanted Leon.
“I just thought that the two of them were too alike and from that it’s been a difficult eight months to see the squad we put together, to see us basically not getting the best out of what we’ve got and any good coach gets the best out of the players and this clearly wasn’t happening.
“Well yeah, but when you look at it, you look at the way we’ve been playing and you look at how we’ve been playing and you look at the dynamics of the team, we’ve just been driving straight through the middle and steamrolling certainly every team in the championship out of the top six.
“When it’s come down to winning a particular game against some of our rivals, we haven’t had a great record. We could have lost quite easily to Bradford at home. Sheffield should have beat us if they’d kept the discipline. Toulouse took us apart in the second half. Halifax have beat us twice.
“So they’re all worrying signs considering the budget what Sean Long had to spend, and this is the biggest budget this club’s probably spent in its history.
“So you put everything together. It’s been a difficult time because we want to be planning with confidence for next year. We need to be acting now on recruitment and planning for next year. And in Sean’s tenure, I couldn’t do that. I couldn’t possibly do that and put the club at jeopardy.
“We brought Fordy in to work with Sean, to try and fill those gaps, but it just clearly wasn’t working. With any business you need one boss, and I came back from a job yesterday and watched it half an hour training and I felt genuinely excited, I was looking out and thinking, I can’t wait for Sunday. I can’t wait to see this lot because I watched training and it’s the most focused, sharp and they just looked a real purpose about what we were doing in training. I can’t wait for Sunday.”