Leigh owner Derek Beaumont has committed to ensuring the club fulfil the remainder of their fixtures this season – but admits he is keen for ‘another group of investors’ to take the Centurions forward thereafter.
The Championship side are increasingly unlikely to make the Qualifiers this year, with a number of results needed to go their way on the final day for them to make the top four.
And Beaumont appears to have conceded defeat in that race in a statement made on Wednesday morning – admitting it is time for another party to take the Centurions forward.
“I am committed to ensuring the club reaches the end of the season and hope during that time a new investor or group of investors can be attracted to take the club forward,” he said.
“I will be making a more detailed statement at the beginning of next week and until then will not be in a position to comment further. I apologise to our loyal fans and sponsors for this failing which ultimately has to rest with me.”
Beaumont continued: “It was with a heavy heart and tear in my eye that the realisation sunk in that we would not make the Qualifiers. I have said publicly on numerous occasion and privately to the group that my position as owner of the club would become untenable should that happen.
“The club will receive circa £200k in 2019 from £1.25m this year and circa £1.7m in 2017 and that is a drop too far to sustain the club in its current form. To that end I must act in the best interests of the club’s ability to survive going forward and in the short-term to fulfil this season’s fixtures, and also to reduce its commitments to make it more attractive to any party that may express an interest in taking it forward.”
Beaumont has also admitted wholesale departures are likely in the coming days before Friday’s transfer deadline.
He said: “This week is deadline week and therefore an ideal opportunity for players to be able to secure their futures elsewhere and at the same time reduce the club’s obligations. I can confirm there will be a large number of exits and that may bring some opportunities for others but that will be ongoing this week right up until deadline.”