Centurions still in special measures

Leigh Centurions remain in special measures and unable to make signings as uncertainty continues to surround the club’s future.

Owner Derek Beaumont gave a detailed interview to BBC Radio Manchester, in which he said recruitment had been the club’s downfall after they failed to make the Qualifiers this year.

They are still in talks with two players who are contracted for next season, and Beaumont claims those deals would take up 40 per cent of the budget for 2019.

At present Leigh remain on the Championship fixture list, due to be issued on November 25, and they attended last week’s meeting of clubs in Bradford.

But Beaumont warned Leigh are currently “in the middle of the deep blue sea”.

He is open to handing the club over to new owners if they are prepared to invest, but says he will leave it in current hands unless that materialises.

Beaumont said: “I have put a lot of time, effort and money into this, so I’m bitterly disappointed.

“It has to be down to recruitment, which I take responsibility for. The responsibility lies with me – I own the club and the decisions rest with me.

“If someone does want to make a significant investment I will write off the loans and give them the chance to achieve more than I did.

“Nobody has come forward. I am still the owner and majority shareholder. As long as that remains in place I have a responsibility to that.

“The club is operating in special measures, which means I can’t appoint a coach or sign players.

“We are stuck in the middle of the deep blue sea at the minute.

“I would be prepared to step aside if someone comes forward and brings some investment.

“But the people who are there at the moment have a lot of skills and knowledge and know what they are doing.”

Beaumont said he remains hopeful that agreement can be reached with the two contracted players.

He added: “There’s no way it (the club) can survive if it’s got to pay two players full-time.

“We face action from two players and it’s up to them what they do next.

“I hope they accept the offers from me and hopefully we can rebuild over the next two or three years.

“It has been horrendous – you have to look at the whole picture and it’s grim.

“I was hopeful I could strip everything back and strip the club back.

“There are two players we haven’t been able to do that with, which has put the club in a difficult situation

“When 40 per cent of your playing budget would be taken up by those two players, that you’re trying to arrange to move on, it leaves a very small amount of money to recruit 20 players.

“We have put responsible budgets forward to the RFL.

“They are nervous my backing has been removed, but I think some sense will be shown soon.

“I will make sure Leigh Centurions continues in whatever vein I can.”