Super League owner paints bleak picture of own club

Leigh owner Derek Beaumont has issued a defiant statement to supporters, outlining the club’s difficulties in the current climate as well as the plans for the future.

I would like to address our key partners, sponsors and supporters further to the release where I advised I would provide an update on the Club prior to departing for a much needed holiday.

I have previously stated some months ago that I am not using social media but I can well imagine it doesn’t paint a pretty picture.

The club will always belong to, and ultimately be dependent upon its partners, sponsors and spectators. Indeed, my financial input and security of the same is dependent on the support of the spectators. I will not be swayed from that support by a minority when I am well aware of the real support of the majority.

I had hoped this statement could contain more substance in terms of names, but it is not appropriate to do so at this stage. Those will follow in the coming days and weeks. What I can tell you is that myself, Mike Latham and Neil Jukes have been working tirelessly and to our own detriment for the club. It has been a horrendously difficult time since gaining promotion to the Betfred Super League via the extensive bid we put together and those off-field efforts have been maintained since, with a clear vision for the whole game, not just Leigh Centurions.

Recruitment has been almost impossible despite funds available, both from within the club and from me personally. With Covid and significant injury lists across the game, clubs are understandably not trading, even turning down offers in excess of £50,000 for players. Overseas players have no interest in coming to England given the picture our country has painted of itself internationally during the pandemic. With money and spots available we have been unable to add to our squad and even when undertaking business with another Super League club we didn’t quite achieve what was intended or agreed. However, we have not given in and nor will we.

Someone said to me within, ‘When the fun stops, stop.’ Whilst that’s a pertinent statement for gambling I don’t think it is one to be used in this situation, as I would have been long gone. I prefer the positive attitude of ‘When the going gets tough, the tough get going.’

In Kurt Haggerty we have a young coach giving his all. We have players putting their bodies on the line in training and on the field. Kurt has yet to be able to choose a team; it has always chosen itself by the bodies left available. Despite this, our players have ripped in and turned up for games with no middles on the bench and given their all for each other and the club and I have the utmost respect for them for that.

Our attitude to Covid and the difficulties that presents has a glowing report from the compliance department at the RFL. We have had our own issues on top of our injuries but have presented ourselves, whatever the position, as available for every game and not taken the opportunities I believe other teams have done to capitalise on that.

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