Wakefield Trinity have confirmed that the club’s takeover by Matt Ellis is complete and will see former Leeds Rhinos, Warrington Wolves and Castleford Tigers boss Daryl Powell.
This means Mark Applegarth’s time as head coach is over after the club’s relegation against Leigh Leopards.
When explaining the decision to part company with Applegarth, new owner Ellis was quite brutal in his assessment of Applegarth’s time in charge.
“Hi everyone. I would like to introduce myself. I am Matt Ellis. I have been working with Michael and John over the past few months regarding the takeover of the club and now terms have been agreed and the deal is at the final stage I feel it is appropriate to write a statement to our loyal supporters.
I am sure just like myself and everyone associated with the club you are feeling deeply saddened by the club ultimately failing to maintain Super League status for the first time since 1999.
This is not through a lack of effort from Mark Applegarth but ultimately we haven’t been good enough.
We now need to move on to the next chapter in the club’s history, it is my intention to complete the takeover of the club in the next 14 days.
I have supported the club since going to watch a game at Oakwell in 1999 where we successfully beat St Helens. I have always been a sports fanatic but since that game Rugby League was the game for me and Trin were the team for me. I am originally from Barnsley but I have lived in the Wakefield area since 2010.
The journey of owning the club in my mind really started in 2020 when my company DIY Kitchens agreed to become the club’s main kit sponsor. Ultimately ASUS came back in and the deal fell through but ever since then it has been in my mind to takeover the club. 2020 wasn’t the right time due to work commitments but when Micheal expressed a desire to leave the club earlier this year I felt the timing was right this time.
My company DIY-Kitchens may be known to some of you but for anyone who doesn’t know we are an online kitchen retailer and manufacturer and employ 550 people in the Wakefield/Leeds postcode area.
Enough of the back story, what you would like to know is what is next for the club and what I hope to achieve as the new owner of the club.
Invest finances in the club to allow us to have the budget to maintain a full-time playing squad and to bounce back into Super League and then challenge to be a top 6 Super League club in the coming years.
Create a winning culture at the club where everyone involved with club gives 100% effort.
Appoint Daryl Powell as the new head coach on an initial 4-year deal.
Appoint a recruitment and salary cap manager to ensure we have fully researched every new player signing for the club.
Ensure the youth setup and youth scouting setup delivers the best players coming through the Academy/Scholarship and once they reach first team level keep them at the club.
Attract and keep top players from both the UK market and overseas.
Engage with the supporters and people of Wakefield to make the club the most fan oriented professional sports club in the game. A new Wakefield Trinity App is being developed and will be ready for the start of the new season.
Enhance our work with local businesses to attract new sponsors and hopefully negotiate discounts for Trinity supporters (can’t promise this one!)
Raise the number of supporters to fill the stadium.
Finance/introduce monthly season ticket options to make season ticket payments easier for the supporters.
Fully utilise the new East Stand and facilities and put on events for everyone to enjoy.
Make the ground facilities better to improve the matchday experience.
Ensure our youth, women’s, PDRL, LDRL and Wheelchair teams get the support required to succeed.
Work with the Foundation to help maintain and where possible improve our community work.
It is vital that future success on the field and initiatives off the field in the areas of Stadium, Finance, Community and Fandom are fully geared to our eventual successful pursuit of IMG Grade A status.
Plenty of work ahead but what I can guarantee is that I will give 100% to achieve all the above at the club, I love a challenge and whilst relegation is not what anyone wants we can turn it into an adventure. Let’s get the feel-good factor back at the club whilst going to visit some grounds we haven’t been to for many a year. Let’s prove to everyone in the Championship what a big club we are and support the team in numbers home and away. Daryl will put together a team that will give its all and make you proud.
We will organise a fans forum with myself and Daryl once the deal is completed and we will be announcing new signings in the coming weeks/months.
Finally, your support this season has been immense, best atmosphere anywhere in rugby league in the North Stand, especially for that Wigan game.
All the best, have a good weekend everyone.
Onwards and upwards for the Trin “