Wakefield Trinity takeover seemingly confirmed

Wakefield Trinity will no longer be alongside the likes of Leeds Rhinos, Wigan Warriors, Warrington Wolves and St Helens in Super League.

But things are looking up once again for the club with a takeover by Matthew Ellis set to take effect this week.

This comes from current Chairman John Minards. This also means the appointment of Daryl Powell looms.

Powell will replace Mark Applegarth who has now officially left the club.

On the takeover, Minards said: “I am writing these notes both for The Mighty Trin as well as a general message to everyone with an interest in Wakefield Trinity in what is a very significant week in our history. It is the week when the custodianship of our club passes to Matt Ellis and his family, and we are all excited to see where this new era will take us. I have got know Matt well in recent months. I know he will give it his all and be a fantastic leader of our club.

“As Matt takes over, I will be standing down as Chairman after just about five years in the role. As something comes to an end, it is only natural I think to reflect of how it began and has played out and so I hope you will indulge me in my sharing a few reflections on the past five, hectic and turbulent years.”

He spoke about the journey:

“I took on the Chairman role in November 2018; simply as a lifelong supporter who felt he could make a positive difference at a time that we were in some peril. Although the 2018 season saw us achieve our second successive fifth place in Super League, our future as a club was very bleak. Michael and Chris had brought a degree of financial stability to the club, but the facts were that we did not own our own ground and instead were “tenants” of a rather volatile landlord with whom we had no signed lease.

“The prospect of a “new stadium”, so often promised but never delivered under a succession of ownerships, was as remote as ever. We didn’t publicise this at the time, but in early 2019 there was a real threat of us being evicted from Belle Vue. Had that happened it is difficult to see how Wakefield Trinity could exist at all. Even as continuing tenants, we had received very much the final warning letter from the RFL that our stadium facilities were not up to Super League standards. No more dispensations would be given after 2019 without demonstrable progress on improvements.”

He also provided the following final points:

“I am also proud that we hand custodianship of the club over in a stable financial state, probably the first time in living memory that this has happened. Our new owners have both the financial clout, and, equally importantly, the desire to take the club to the next level. Our ambition has always been for a sustainable Super League club for the city of Wakefield. Having re-established secure roots at our historic home at Belle Vue and achieved financial stability, obtaining a Grade A licence and permanent Super League membership is firmly within our grasp.

“All that we have achieved, taking the club from the brink of extinction to where we are today has been the result of a massive team effort. I would like to thank every player, coach, staff member, sponsor, supplier, advisor, board colleague and above all supporter for the part you have played in the journey. It has been the privilege of my life to lead this club as Chairman. An unexpected, challenging, exciting and above all uplifting experience.”