Wembley, not Super League, behind Leigh’s recruitment, says Derek Beaumont

Derek Beaumont insists he hasn’t got Super League in mind following a mini spending-spree by Leigh Centurions last week.

Leigh’s mid-season spending went to new lengths as they added Mitch Clark, Junior Sa’u and Adam Higson to their squad for the end-of-season run-in.

The Leythers further strengthened their grip on a play-off spot with victory over Batley on Sunday, with a top-five finish looking increasingly likely.

However, Beaumont insists the reason for strengthening the squad is to bolster their chances of success in the 1895 Cup, rather than to secure promotion.

Beaumont’s company, AB Sundecks, are the title sponsors of the competition, with the Centurions owner desperate to see Leigh become the first club to lift the trophy.

“I have a squad and a coach I believe in and therefore I’m willing to invest to make it stronger,” he said.

“But it’s not about Super League. I’ve always wanted a day out at Wembley. You’ve never been able to do that with Super League. That’s the biggest reason behind the recruitment, to get those guys in before the deadline makes us stronger and gives us a better chance.

“Yes it makes us stronger for the play-offs, but if I was a betting man you’d still have to put your money on Toronto to go up.

“We signed Mitch Clark to fill the gap left by Gareth Hock after his retirement last week, and the thinking behind signing Junior was that we wanted him for next season, but his availability came up now. So it was a case of signing him now or letting someone else take him, and it was the same with AJ (Adam Higson).”

Beaumont also hit back at criticism of the club’s spending following last year’s financial difficulties.

The club was forced to clear its assets after failing to make the top four, with Beaumont claiming he would not be heavily investing in the club after securing its immediate future.

But he left the door open and, after the club’s on-field performances, coupled with healthy attendances, he is now ready to spend again.

“At the end of the day it is my money and I’ll spend it how I want to spend it,” he said.

“Last year they under-achieved and they accepted it. We had nothing to play for and they couldn’t stay, as we were going to go from funding of £1.2 million to £200,000, so that team couldn’t be kept together because I wasn’t going to put in £1 million.

“It was in a position where, if it hadn’t been alleviated, it would have ended up like Widnes. “Everyone got a deal and the last two got deals they were happy with. All the debts got paid and everyone got something.

“There’s no risk to the club with what we’re spending now.

“But you’ll never please all the people all of the time.”