Safe for now ... but keep the faith

Leigh Centurions v Halifax  Thurs. June 2nd 2011'Leigh's Mick Nanyn''Photo by Maurice Jones 01204 410696
Leigh Centurions v Halifax Thurs. June 2nd 2011'Leigh's Mick Nanyn''Photo by Maurice Jones 01204 410696

LEIGH Centurions have survived to play another season after the club agreed a deal with the Rugby Football League to avoid going into administration.

The RFL are currently negotiating with HMRC over the terms of an advance payment on the club’s outstanding tax bill which means the club will escape starting the new season with a nine-point deduction.

Acting Chairman Keith Freer said: “Leigh will now be able to finalise all the projects and concentrate on recruiting coach and players for next season.

“On behalf of the board I must say the support from the RFL has been vital and very much appreciated and our thanks must also go to all the LISA and Lottery members, supporters and the players in turning this difficult situation into a positive for Leigh.” 

Chief Executive Trevor Barton said he believed Leigh would mount a strong challenge for silverware in 2012.

He said: “I am confident that the spine of last year’s squad will remain in place, and I’m excited about next season already.”

Mr Barton said the club had remodelled its entire working structure to ensure that it would be on a stable footing long-term.

He said: “It’s been crucial that we remove the necessity of being dependent on a white knight. I want the fan base, LISA and the corporate clubs to be share-owning parts of the club and to be involved directly in how the club is running to ensure we use our collective expertise wisely to take the club forward.”

Mr Barton promised new innovations for next season, including a live Internet commentary on matchdays for Centurions fans around the world and an online programme, a first for the club.

He said: “We want the Centurions brand to be known internationally.”

Mr Barton said he hoped the club could move towards its long-term goal of winning a Super League franchise, and added: “My messages to the fans is to keep the faith.

“Leigh should believe in itself, it’s a brilliant place to be, we’ve got some of the best spectator facilities in the country, and if we put a good product on the field and the numbers coming through the gate increase, our aspirations will also increase.”