Wakefield Trinity aiming for Grade A status as chairman explains key advantage Super League club has over rivals

WAKEFIELD TRINITY and the 11 other Super League clubs are currently in a period of uncertainty.

With the onset of IMG as stakeholders in the sport, a new grading criteria will be handed to clubs in all three tiers of professional of rugby league on March 6.

That criteria will then determine a grade for each club of either A, B or C – though it is currently uncertain as to what the criteria will be.

For Wakefield chairman John Minards, however, the West Yorkshire club has aspirations of being a Grade A as he explained just why his club has a key advantage in one major area.

Over the past year, Trinity have been one of the most active sides off the field in terms of stadium redevelopment, with the rate of progress rapid and on track with an expected finish date of August 11.

With that in mind, Minards hopes that the new stands will be seen as a big positive by IMG and the fact that Wakefield actually own their own stadium.

“I hope the redeveloped stand is a tick, we don’t know where the boxes are and what the size of the boxes are,” Minards told League Express.

“We have to believe quality of stadium is up there. We’d also like to believe that security of tenure and even primacy of tenure will be important.

“We own the freehold and we’ve built on the freehold, so this is a rugby league stadium. Other sports will be played here as we’ve signed a deal with Wakefield AFC to play football.

“But, there is no doubt who is the senior partner is here, they would be tenants of ours and they are happy with that and we have a great relationship. That’s good for Wakefield as a city.

“We control when we play here and who plays here which I think is important. That isn’t the case if you play somewhere else.

“Some teams play in superb stadiums but bigger than they need and it would be certainly bigger than what we need but we’re looking to raise our crowds.

“That is in a basket of factors that will contribute. There is no one silver bullet that says ‘you’ve got to have this.’

“What I think I’m expecting is a weighting of points that are allocated for different criteria and I’d like to think one of the criteria would be it’s a rugby league ground not anything else and I hope we get some credit for it as well as the quality of that ground.

“We’re absolutely intent that Grade A will be something attainable and we will attain it.”

In terms of the next five years, Minards has the ambition to be a hugely competitive club and wants to see more Super League teams have a chance of winning the Grand Final.

“I’d like to see us be a top tier team with the Grade A status achieved. Playing year in year out at the top elite level and regularly competing to win whatever competitions we have at the time.

“I want us to be a competitive team every year, there is a team that wins every year at the moment but that is a rare phenomenon.

“It’s good for the game if a different team is winning the competition, so I’d like to see a competition where every team has a chance of winning it. That’s not where we’ve been for the last 25 years.”