4:50pm Thursday 7th March 2013
LEIGH Centurions are having financial difficulties again.
The club was saved from going bust at the end of 2011 but cash-flow problems have been revealed by the club's bosses.
A hefty focus is now being placed on finding a positive outcome for the benefit of the club's long-term future.
Chairman Keith Freer has issued a statement.
In it, he says: "In accordance with the club's policy of honesty, integrity and transparency, I need to advise that the club again faces a series of issues which, if not addressed quickly, could affect the long term future of the club."
And he explained the current predicament.
"The loss of the lucrative friendly with Salford and the adverse weather which affected the Swinton game has led to a cash flow problem over the next two months," said Freer.
"This, coupled with the poor attendances at the last two games, needs to be tackled quickly."
He indicated that an additional 400 supporters at home matches would make a difference.
"The missing 400 fans need to be found and asked to support the club, by attending the home games," he continued.
"I appreciate that some fans are trying to balance their finance in this poor economic climate, but we all need to raise the attendances by finding the missing 400.
"I have in the past made the point that every 100 attending is worth £1,000 to the club.
"With only eleven home games left, a consistent shortfall of 400 will cost the club £44,000.
"If we can recover the 400 fans, this will also highlight the desire within the town to demonstrate its support for the club's bid for Super League.
"The club has a very successful lottery, which has more than 2,000 members and if only a fraction of these members attended, then the future of the club would be enhanced.
"I know that there are numerous supporters that buy season tickets, and are members of LISA and the lottery, but what we really need is to challenge everyone in the town who are fans to contribute, ideally by attending, but if not then by joining the lottery, LISA and the Touchdown club.
"The business community also need to be challenged to make their contribution."
To that end, Leigh Centurions have launched the '400/20 Challenge'.
Freer explained: "If we can secure 20 companies, each pledging £2,000, this would raise £40,000 so I would like to announce the ‘400/20 Challenge’ to all businesses in the town, to make the pledge.
"I know many will not be able to donate £2,000, but every pledge of £500 will help.
"I would ask all supporters to approach their employers and ask the question, ‘What are you prepared to do to secure the future of the club?’
"We need to bang the drum and get out and tackle and challenge everyone who 'BeLeighves' in our club."
He feeels the coaches and players are delivering on the field and deserve the backing.
"This year we have strengthened the squad and are playing the best rugby for years," he said.
"Paul Rowley has done a tremendous job in his first year, becoming Coach of the Year.
"We finished second in the league last year. Paul has now embarked on this season’s campaign, in the belief that the squad is bigger and stronger than last season.
"We have now won four games in a row with only one slight blip at Featherstone, in our first game of the season, which was in part the consequence of a disrupted pre-season."
He added: "The Board and I are committed to tackle the business community to back the club.
"We need you to help this challenge and tackle your friends, neighbours, and work colleagues about getting down to LSV and getting behind Paul and the team.
"The club has the best facilities in the Championship, and better than several Super League clubs.
"We are so close to achieving sustainability without the white knight scenario, on the simple philosophy of what can we do for the club, as opposed to the old approach of what can I get from the club.
"The volunteers who have committed their time to achieve this are an impressive foundation, upon which we can continue to build, and rightfully be entitled to become the next Championship club in Super League.
"So let’s focus on the missing 400 and 20+ businesses to fulfil the ‘400/20 Challenge’.
All the directors, chief executive Trevor Barton MBE and business manager/team captain Rob Parker would like to hear from you, as would organisers of Touchdown club, LISA and Superleigh Lottery.
You can contact the club on 01942 487887, or the following club personnel by e-mail.
Chairman Keith Freer - firstname.lastname@example.org
Chief Executive Trevor Barton MBE - email@example.com
Business Manager Rob Parker - firstname.lastname@example.org
Superleigh Lottery - email@example.com
Touchdown Club - firstname.lastname@example.org
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