Warrington Wolves chief opens up on abuse, ‘unpleasant experience’ in 2022 and why he could ‘handle’ the criticism

IT’S fair to say that Warrington Wolves underperformed during the 2022 Super League season.

The Cheshire club went into their first season under Daryl Powell as potential challengers for the Grand Final, but finished second bottom of the Super League table.

For Warrington chief executive, Karl Fitzpatrick, 2022 was a very difficult year with the man himself subject to abuse – both online and in person.

“Last season, we had some really tough days where we were being perceived to be one of the top four clubs in Super League and we finished next to the bottom of the table,” Fitzpatrick told the Growth Hub Podcast.

“There is a lot of expectation at our club and rightly so because of the investment that goes into it. There were a lot of games last year where you were subject to a lot of abuse whether online or to my face at times.

“There was a game at Hull KR, it was an unpleasant experience because 15 minutes in we were 20 points down and the crowd is chanting for me to be sacked.”

Fitzpatrick believes that keeping himself healthy in four different ways ensured that the abuse didn’t affect him too much.

“If I wasn’t looking after myself on a physical, emotional, mental and spiritual perspective, I think I could have been in a really difficult position there. But I could handle it because I had those in place.

“It was challenging and it was a big lesson. It’s a bit cliche but I will control the controllables, a lot of things are out of my control, but I controlled the things I could.”

Going into the 2023 Super League season, Fitzpatrick will be wanting a much improved year – and he and the club have certainly backed Powell in the transfer market.