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‘I knew Featherstone would sign our players’ – Derek Beaumont reveals clever spending approach to Super League

Derek Beaumont has seen Leigh Leopards go up and down from Super League over the last two decades until he said enough is enough last year.

Speaking on the Eddie and Stevo podcast, Beaumont said:

“I looked at it last year and I said ‘we can’t keep doing this’. I knew that we had to change what we had done before.

“It’s not sustainable to be going up and down. I have always been against removing promotion and relegation, but I have been in it in 2004 when we beat Whitehaven in extra time to get promoted to Super League for 2005.

“We were too late to recruit and we just got whacked and came straight back down. In 2017 we spent in Super League, which had some legs because you had to be good enough to beat Super League teams to get in, and we did.

“We didn’t finish bottom in Super League that season. We came out through the same system but it showed that we were competitive – that had some substance to it.

“Then we came in through the Super League bid, and that was almost a mini IMG process and that designed us as the 12th best club in the competition, with the other 11 not been involved in the process.

“That gives me confidence in terms of those whole IMG process. But we had to do something different. I have come in through the conventional way, the middle eights way and the bidding process way, now to back in the conventional way.”

He then went on to explain his different approach last year and knew that he needed to sign these players before Featherstone Rovers did:

“The one thing different this time is we recruited in May. I put my neck on the line and I knew I could expose myself to £2 million.

“But I also knew that if we didn’t go up and Featherstone did, they would need players so I could keep what I needed to make to make sure we won promotion the next year.

“Because this is the important year. This is the time when Featherstone really have to do it from their point of view, so that was the big difference.”

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