Dave Hadfield: Wildcats will get lost in Rhubarb Triangle if they are demoted and that can't be right

John Kear's side has won half a dozen matches and they are not bottom of Super League

There is not usually a lot of love lost between Wakefield and Castleford, but a Cas supporter spoke for many in rugby league this weekend. "If they kick Wakey out, it's a disgrace," he said. "It's a hundred years of history and two big derbies for us every season."

In fact, it's 116 years of tradition and it's debatable whether Super League licenses should be handed out on the basis of what is more convenient for your peers.

But now that the announcement that will almost certainly consign Wakefield to the Championship is imminent, the feeling, not just within the Rhubarb Triangle, is that something is not right.

The Rugby League will today reveal which 14 clubs will comprise Super League for the next three seasons, up to 2014. Widnes already know that they are being promoted. Even if you discount Halifax's bid for elevation, that means one existing club will drop out.

All the candidates have been inspected to judge how they fare against the criteria for Super League membership. There are several who fall short; you could pick holes in the applications from Salford, Crusaders, Harlequins and, yes, Castleford. But the unbackable favourites for the drop are Wakefield Trinity Wildcats; the bookies have stopped taking bets.

Back in 2008, the RFL described their Belle Vue ground as "limited and old-fashioned". They have tried hard to tidy it up, but it remains the biggest millstone around their necks. Of their proposed new stadium on the outskirts of the city, there is no sign.

What can be said in their favour is that they have improved their community programmes, their youth development and their attendances. Under the new ownership of Andrew Glover, the club's structure is more convincing than for many years. John Kear's side has won half a dozen matches and, even with a four-point deduction for going into administration before the takeover, they are not bottom of Super League.

None of this will be enough to save them when the 14 successful applications, graded into categories A, B and C, are read out at Old Trafford. There will be anger - and not just in Wakefield.

Not that it needs to be a death sentence. Glover came into the club with his eyes open and with a contingency plan for relegation. They can re-group and aim to re-apply in 2014. None of that means that there will not be acute pain in the short- and medium term. The money the club gets from the disbursement of central funds will plummet from £1.2m to £100,000.

Crowds, which have been edging upwards, will inevitably plunge. You simply cannot get the same attendances for Batley and Dewsbury that you can for Castleford and Leeds, however hard you work at it.

And rugby league's trade press is full of leaked news of the deals that Wakefield players have cut elsewhere, in preparation for the anticipated stroke of the axe. For the last year, Belle Vue has been known as the Rapid Solicitors Stadium. Today's events will chime with its alternative, unofficial name – the Rapid Demise Stadium.

As for a Rapid Return, Trinity will cling to the hope that someone else will implode before the end of the season and grant them a reprieve. That is possible, but the RFL has shown how committed it is to its outpost clubs in London and Wales.

Otherwise, it is a minimum of three years in the wilderness for the Wildcats and, for those who believe an injustice is being done, that is not rapid enough.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
tech
News
The 67P/CG comet as seen from the Philae lander
scienceThe most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Arts and Entertainment
Ian McKellen as Gandalf in The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies
film
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Koenig, creator of popular podcast Serial, which is to be broadcast by the BBC
tvReview: The secret to the programme's success is that it allows its audience to play detective
News
Ruby Wax has previously written about her mental health problems in her book Sane New World
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas