The Championship looks to be hugely competitive this season with a huge number of teams capable of making the playoffs, however for top spot it seems to be a two-horse race.
Toulouse have dropped down from Super League and still have a brilliant squad, plus their home record is generally incredibly helpful to their cause, whilst Featherstone have invested an incredible amount to build a scarily strong squad.
Their chairman Mark Campbell has now spoken about this style of investment, going as far as to reference that the team requires larger attendances to justify their wage bill after their win over Newcastle Thunder,
In response to a Facebook post within a fan page, Campbell stated bluntly the following:
“We have invested in a quality squad and our match day income doesn’t get anywhere near meeting our wage bill.
“Me and Martin (Vickers- CEO) have to work really hard to meet our commitments to keep this going and seeing such poor attendances, coupled with everyone going to The Railway or Rovers Return for a cheaper pint makes it an even harder task to justify the investment in time/money.
He continued: “This can be a monumental year for the club but if the crowds don’t improve, then I aren’t working my tail off to subsidise us having this team.
“Let’s hope we get a good attendance for the Bradford game as they will think they have a chance now, especially after beating Toulouse.”
Rovers recorded an attendance of 2,489 which was only surpassed by Bradford’s 2,798 in the Championship last weekend so to label it as a “poor” attendance is an interesting comment.
Campbell went on to discuss possible reasons with fans and accepted that prices and the cost of living crisis may be a contributing factor.
“We will look at this and try and get it in place for the Bradford game and we appreciate all the feed back, good or bad. We also realise some fans are struggling with the increased prices of energy.”
Featherstone hosted Bradford on Monday in a game that was televised on Viaplay, something that in itself could harm attendance figures.
Before the game Vickers praised the fans for responding with great ticket sales.
He took to Twitter to say: “We have already exceeded our numbers for the last 2 games but we need your support more than ever for this top of the table clash, let’s get bouncing for the Bulls!”
Now the club have released a statement thanking fans for their near 5,000 attendance and said their fans will soon be the best fans in Super League:
“After the final count was revised Monday to include juniors and hospitality, we’re delighted to have recorded our highest attendance of recent years on Monday night with 4809 turning out to see our hard fought win against Bradford.
“We know times are hard at the moment and with so many home games tightly packed together, we’re going to keep doing everything we can to make it easier for your to keep coming back.
“Finally, we’re investigating reports of inappropriate language by a small number of supporters at Monday night’s game. Whilst we want to build a great atmosphere here for game days, please be mindful of what you’re saying and how it could be interpreted. The majority of our supporters are the best fans in the Championship and we’re working hard on and off the field to make sure that next year, you’ll be the best supporters in Super League.”