Rugby League: Wakefield wait on Super League funding

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The Independent Online
WAKEFIELD TRINITY'S recruitment plans are on hold while they wait to learn whether they will have any money to spend on building a Super League side. Trinity have been accepted into the competition for next season, but there is a dispute over their funding.

Super League are adamant that there is an agreement between them, the Rugby Football League and the First and Second Division Association that Wakefield will get none of Super League's News Limited cash for 1999 or 2000.

There is no provision at the moment for them to be funded by Fasda, leaving the danger that they will fall between two stools. "It can't have been the intention of the game that we should be in that situation," said the Trinity chief executive, Steve Ferres. "It has already put us behind the game as far as our recruitment is concerned."

Wakefield have admitted that they need a dozen new players before they could be competitive in Super League, but are stymied by not knowing their financial position.

Negotiations are well advanced with several players in Australia, and Trinity are likely to release two of last year's imports, Josh Bostock and Roger Kenworthy.

Matt Fuller could return, but two English players who were regulars in their First Division title-winning side, Simon Hicks and Jon Wray, are looking for new clubs.

Wakefield are also showing interest in Sheffield's transfer-listed Great Britain prop Paul Broadbent but fear that their hands are tied by the uncertainty over how much they will have to spend.

Ferres is pinning his hopes on a favourable decision from a special general meeting of clubs on 7 December and the RFL's chief executive, Neil Tunnicliffe, is optimistic about the outcome.

"We are in dialogue with Wakefield and we have earmarked a solution," he said.

Hull's former Great Britain centre, Alan Hunte, who began his career at Wakefield, his hometown club, is expected to soon complete a move to play rugby union for Northampton.

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