Don’t assume we’ll be okay, says Fitzpatrick

Warrington Wolves chief executive Karl Fitzpatrick has insisted that not even the Wolves are immune from the financial insecurity Rugby League finds itself threatened with.

Many within the sport are worried that the longer the domestic season is postponed, the more clubs could run into financial difficulties.

Warrington, in the eyes of many, are not considered to be at risk due to their significant financial backing. But Fitzpatrick has warned League Express that this is a crisis that affects everyone.

“Our ownership group are financially impacted as well as are most other industry sectors. To think we’re immune from it would be naive,” he said.

“It would also be incorrect. Admittedly we’re one of a number of clubs who are in a stronger position, but it wouldn’t take many home games to be postponed before we hit some issues.”

The Wolves continue to train despite the coronavirus outbreak. But they have taken significant measures to try and reduce the spread of the virus.

“It’s important to state that we’re following Government guidelines with regards to social distancing,” he said.

“We’re not training as a team, we’re training in small groups of five or six so that from a conditioning perspective, the players are ready to start, whenever that may be.

“The traffic from the playing gym has gone down; our women’s scholarship and Academy teams would normally be there, but that’s gone to minimise the risk and players and staff will be cleaning the equipment after use.

“I met all the players and stressed to them that if they’re concerned about training in smaller groups they will be excused and can go home.”

Fitzpatrick also joined the growing number of Super League chief executives who admitted playing games behind closed doors could be an option in the coming weeks for the sport.

He said: “If we have to ensure there’s no breach of contract, we may have to do that.

“I’ve been on the phone to Sky near enough every day in terms of offering support and content. Sky Sports News were at training on Friday filming the players, and they’re coming to the stadium on Monday.

“We’ve still got media obligations to fulfil, and we still need to work with the media and Sky to find a way out of this.”