Wakefield Trinity face uncertain future with stadium exit looming

By Jake Ashby

Wakefield Trinity have given their notice of exit to leave historic ground Belle Vue at the end of the season, following stalls in onsite developments.

Belle Vue has been Trinity’s home since the Super League began in 1985, however it is unable to meet ‘minimum ground standards’ which will be implemented by the Rugby League’s top tier next season.

It was only announced last season that Trinity intended to stay put at Belle Vue after reaching an agreement with the lands owners 88m group, this agreement included promises to develop the stadium and its surrounding area.

In January it was announced that any plans to develop the ground had stalled, and with Wakefield setting a deadline for March, the Super League side had no choice but to announce their exit.

Local Championship sides Featherstone Rovers and Dewsbury Rams have offered to ground share with Trinity next season, Chairman Michael Carter told Yorkshire Evening Post his plans for the clubs future.

Carter said: “This will have a significant effect on the club moving forward and, therefore, we have no choice but to look for pastures new.”

“I am determined to ensure that this city gets what it was promised and those that promised much are held to account.”

However, not all those within the club are convinced that the options facing Trinity are suitable. Academy sports therapist Liam Green told Yorkshire Voice his opinions of the proposed ground shares.

Green said: “The championship stadiums won’t be suitable for a Super League club like Wakefield, the pitch won’t be great, and the distance the fans, staff and players will have to travel for home games won’t be ideal. However, I see why this is being considered because it’s the cheapest option we have.”

Newcastle, Bristol and Coventry are interesting in taking on a Super League club, meaning Wakefield, who have been part of the division since it started may be relegated into the Championship.

Responding to these rumours, second-row Jordan Crowther told Yorkshire Voice he hopes to remain at Trinity despite them dropping a tier.

Crowther said: “They [Wakefield] might get rid of a few players to compensate for going down but hopefully they would decide to keep the majority of the squad if that did happen.”

“It would be sad if Wakefield did go down because they belong in the Super League and always will be. However, it would be good to expand the game further if the teams in the Championship were up to the Super League standard.”

With the club facing an uncertain future, many fans of the club are are displeased with how the stadium situation has been handled, with many pointing blame on the local council.

 

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