Posted by Dave on 12th September 2008

Wakefield hit problems with new ground

Shed - Knowsley Road
It appears Wakefield have had problems with their plans for a new ground having had their plans turned down by the council. Now I will try to not let this turn into a rant (being a Widnes fan it probably will) but how long have clubs like Wakefield had to build a ground? I am pretty sure part of the criteria for getting into Superleague to begin with was to have a ground that is up to scratch yet here we are more than 10 years into the Superleague era and teams like Wakefield and Saints (Knowsley road pictured above) have simply not got their act together.
Yet look further down the leagues and teams have in the past been denied promotion from National League 1 for not having grounds up to scratch and teams such as Widnes and Leigh now play from nice new all seater stadium, Widnes’ stadium even being used for a playoff game as Wigan’s is unavailable. (Note all seater I don’t see why Warrington have been allowed a standing section either?)

Apparently if teams such as Saints, Salford and Wakefield have failed to fufill plans for new stadia by the end of their 3 year licence than they are out, however that simply isn’t good enough. To my mind they should never have been in, and apparently Wakefield only just got in ahead of Widnes anyway and we see yet again how the RFL will bend the rules for certain teams and stick to them for others.
Rumours also abound that Celtic haven’t even got plans for a building a stadium that is up to scratch, but because they’re a “development” club thats allowed.
Some people also complain about the fact that teams like Wigan don’t even own their ground, granted this makes it much easier for certain clubs and seems a way out of spending the money. But they have come to an arrangement and they do play in a ground that is up to scratch.
I know there were other factors considered in the Superleague franchise decisions but presonally I think if the RFL are going to make rules they should stick to them and whilst I do hope Wakefield get themselves sorted if they don’t them come the end of the 3 years they should be straight out, quite frankly they’ve had long enough.
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