Wakefield admit they had to renovate Belle Vue as fans moan at shocking start | The Sun

Wakefield admit they had to renovate Belle Vue as fans moan at shocking start | The Sun

JOHN Minards has delivered a simple message to Wakefield fans who claim they have put a new stand above Super League survival – we would be out without it.

As Trinity's new facility at Belle Vue takes shape, Mark Applegarth's side lies bottom having lost all four matches, not having scored in their last three.

That has led to criticism from supporters but chairman Minards spelled out just how vital it is.

In fact, Wakefield themselves admitted when seeking planning permission the Rugby Football League's dispensation had run out.

And Minards said: “We wouldn’t be in Super League now – never mind the future.

“If we’d continued with the facilities and showed no sign of changing and actually doing it, we wouldn’t be in Super League.

“We were falling short at that stage of minimum standards required for Super League in terms of our ground, on a number of areas but principally the quality of the stand and the seating environment.

“We were operating under an annual dispensation from the Rugby Football League that said, ‘OK, we’ll let you go for another year.’



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“But we received a very clear message that that wouldn’t go on forever.”

Wakefield's own planning documents told how the RFL had called time on letting them play in a dilapidated stadium.

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They said: “The RFL indicated, in granting the dispensation for 2020 and again in 2021, that they are unlikely to do likewise in the future.

“The club would then have no choice but to relocate to a suitable stadium outside Wakefield. This is not a step that the current custodians are willing to consider.”

Now Wakefield have satisfied the RFL, it is time to satisfy IMG after they published the criteria that will decide clubs' grading.

And Minards admitted he would rather have the system coming in for 2025, where off-field performance is as important as on it, than the traditional system operating now.

He added to the club: “I’m not in favour of the promotion and relegation situation we have at the moment. We’d prefer this grading system, however, there’s still a lot of detail to be filled in.

“We will not vote for anything we don’t think is for the best interests of the game or, unless it is fair to Wakefield Trinity and where we sit at the moment.

“We think the way forward is the right one. A lot of people are throwing criticism about but we have to have a bit of balance, calmness and confidence.

“Our season will not be defined by these first four games. We believe given a decent run with injuries that this squad is very competitive.”

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