Warrington Wolves would have faced severe difficulties without a substantial financial injection provided by the club’s directors, according to the club’s chief executive, Karl Fitzpatrick.
Fitzpatrick admitted to League Express that the Wolves’ aspiration of attracting the best talent across the world would have been severely impacted had Chairman Stuart Middleton and his fellow directors not pledged a seven-figure sum to help the Wolves through the Covid-19 pandemic and the associated financial implications.
However, Fitzpatrick warned that despite that boost, the next 18 months will be paved with difficult issues.
“It would have been a very dire situation without that,” he said.
“We’re facing a pretty difficult situation anyway, and the challenges we’re facing are current, mid-term and long-term.
“Our supporters may be struggling financially, and our business is too, and we’re acutely aware this is not a short-term issue. That’s why the commitment from Stuart, Simon (Moran) and the directors is humbling. Their businesses have been impacted too but they want to continue to support the club as proud Warringtonians and custodians of the club.”
Fitzpatrick admits that without that money, the club could have been forced into a rethink when it came to recruitment and retention for the years ahead.
“100 per cent,” he insisted.
“It would have impacted the level of player we want to bring to Warrington Wolves. We want to be the best club in Super League and attract the best players from across the game, and without this level of investment, we would not be able to do that.”
Fitzpatrick confirmed that the Wolves have declared their interest in hosting games behind closed doors at the Halliwell Jones Stadium, saying: “There’s commercial value in terms of doing that, and hopefully in the next couple of weeks we will find out.”
He also said he will speak to the Warrington squad in the coming weeks about pay cuts moving forward.
The initial three-month period where players have taken cuts is coming to an end at the end of this month, and Fitzpatrick admits that further discussions are due.
“There are still a number of unknowns there with it all, but we’re reviewing the situation and we will be speaking to the players in the not-too-distant future.
“I’m sure the players are as delighted as we are that we’ve got a restart date now confirmed in the diary, and with that now looming on the horizon, it galvanises everyone in the sport. We need to make August and September the prime Super League months: we have to capitalise on this opportunity.”