Cougars close to resolution

Keighley Cougars coach Craig Lingard is hoping that a swift resolution to the club’s recent financial difficulties will avoid any disruption to his preparations for the new season.

Lingard is working on a strict budget for 2019, which is considerably lower than last years, and whilst the club is announcing new arrivals, players from the 2018 squad were last week still awaiting multiple wages owed to them.

It was feared that those players may not have returned to the club until matters had been resolved, leaving Lingard, and pre-season plans, temporarily in limbo.

However, cheques to cover the missing wages were sent out to the players on Friday, with Lingard hoping that will put an end to any uncertainty.

“The signings we’ve been announcing recently were actually sorted before the end of last season, and things were on the backburner a little bit recently because there were some more issues over pay,” explained Lingard.

“We’ve been trying to resolve some of the issues from last season, so in terms of starting pre-season, I really don’t know what’s happening yet.

“Players aren’t going to come back until everything is resolved and you can understand that. But the players should now be receiving their full and final settlement on Monday (today) or Tuesday, depending on the postal system.

“The new owners picked up a lot of historic debt that they didn’t realise was there when they took over. A lot of debt has come out of the woodwork and it took a lot longer to sort than they were expecting.

“It’s been frustrating for me because I want to draw a line under last season’s difficulties and move forward. The owner has now cleared everything player wise now so we can hopefully move forward into next year now with a bit more positivity.”